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:
Special Topic: The Queer Art of Drag (WGST 30903)
Course design and instruction: Dr. Nino Testa
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
- The Queer Art of Drag: A New Course Taught Students How to Create Their Own Drag Personas, by Katherine Lester (2021)
- “What is Critical Drag?” by Fred Trevino (2021)
- “Reading is Fundamental” by Fred Trevino (2021)
- “When Drag is Activism” by Fred Trevino (2021)
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.
- K. Bradford, “Grease Cowboy Fever, or, the Making of Johnny T.”
- Alexis Brown, “Being and Performance in RuPaul’s Drag Race“
- Jack Halberstam, “Mack Daddy, Superfly, Rapper: Gender, Race, and Masculinity in the Drag King Scene”
- Kareem Khubchandani, Lessons in Drag: An Interview with LaWhore Vagistan
- Kareem Khubchandani, Ishtyle: Accenting Gay Indian Nightlife
- Alana Kumbier, “One Body, Some Genders: Drag Performances and Technologies”
- Dr. Lady J, “From the Love Ball to RuPaul: The Mainstreaming of Drag in the 1990s”
- José Muñoz, “The White to Be Angry: Vaginal Davis’s Terrorist Drag”
- Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes, Trans Locas: The Politics of Puerto Rican Drag and Trans Performance
- The Complicated Truth About Female Drag Queens
- Maxx Pleasure, 3 Tips for Creating Your Drag Persona
- LaWhore Vagistan, How to Be An Auntie
- 10 Tips for New Drag Performers
- Lola von Miramar, Cooking with Drag Queens
- 100 Years of Drag Kings
- How I Became a Drag King
- Asian-American Drag Queens & Kings Celebrate Queer Identity
- A Storme Life
- Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
- Matt Baume, How Drag is Different from Blackface?
Thinking about crafting a drag persona or performance? Do some brainstorming first: My Drag Worksheet