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AddRan College of Liberal Arts

Department of Women & Gender Studies

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The Queer Art of Drag

Drag is an art form with a rich history of challenging dominant norms and systems of oppression; building queer community; and cultivating experiences of queer joy in a hostile world; but drag has also been deployed in service of violent ideologies and can sometimes participate in harmful normative logics. Critical drag explores drag performance as an outlet for social critique, pedagogy, and queer world making.

The Department of Women & Gender Studies, in collaboration with community partners at the Gender Resource Office, The End, Spectrum, Westside Unitarian Church, local drag performers, and LGBTQ organizations in Fort Worth, has produced a series of opportunities to develop campus vocabulary and understanding of drag history and practice.

This page contains scholarship, performances, and articles about 1.) the history of drag 2.) drag at TCU and 3.) resources for those who want to develop their own critical drag personas.

Drag at TCU

TCU offers many opportunities to learn more about drag, including courses, articles, performances, and lectures. Here's a look at some of the drag initiatives at TCU:

Three images of Dr. Lady J applying drag makeup
Dr. Lady J, Cleveland-based drag performer and public historian

Special Topic: The Queer Art of Drag (WGST 30903)

Course design and instruction: Dr. Nino Testa

Read Full Syllabus Here


Thank you to those who have contributed so much to this course: Kareem Khubchandani, Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes, Dr. Lady J, Deja DuBois, Mariana Gonzalez, Sapphire Davenport, Tara St. Stone, Brock Bottoms, Fauxbia St. Stone, Buck Wylde, and Curt Rode.

In commemoration of World AIDS Day 2021 and the 40th anniversary of the first reported cases of HIV, TCU’s Maria von Clapp and LaShawnah Tovah created a virtual poetry reading series featuring the AIDS poetry of Michelle Cliff, Melvin Dixon, Zoe Leonard, and more. Learn more about the history of HIV/AIDS and queer activist responses to the epidemic:

Poets ACT UP

Funeral Camp

Re-Thinking Elegies

Drag 101: Research and Resources

Interested in learning more about the queer art of drag? We've compiled a list of resources, worksheets, tutorials, and scholarship to help you get started, based on the syllabus for WGST 30903: The Queer Art of Drag.

Thinking about crafting a drag persona or performance? Do some brainstorming first: My Drag Worksheet

Buck Wylde performs at Spectrum’s 2019 Night of Drag
Buck Wylde performs at Spectrum’s 2019 Night of Drag