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The Drag King Anthology
Examine the phenomenon of female-to-male performance!
Edited by Donna Jean Troka, Kathleen LeBesco, and Jean Bobby Noble.
(2003) Harrington Park Press - 346 Pages

About The Book:

Get a comprehensive perspective on women performing masculinity!

The Drag King Anthology examines the ?other side? of the drag culture?female-to-male performers who embody masculinity as a statement of queer identity. This unique book, which is a Lambda Literary Award finalist and has garnered an honorable mention in the competition for the Center of Lesbian and Gay Studies' 2004 Sylvia Rivera Award in Transgender Studies, dispels the myth that drag kings are simply ?women doing drag.? The Drag King Anthology presents entertaining and enlightening essays that address gender, sexuality, and feminism. Using prose, poetry, and photographs, an eclectic mix of scholars, performers, and fans offer cultural and political insights on the international growth and development of drag king troupes and communities

Mentioned in passing or neglected altogether in academic writings on queer and feminist theory, ?kinging? has emerged as a powerful cultural and political comment on gender norms. The Drag King Anthology provides an alternative look at how women?butches, trannyboys, femmes, and gender variants?perform masculinity to cross the spectrum of sexual and gender categories and the impact these performances have. Essays and visual images combine with case studies on drag king troupes in the United States, Canada, and Australia to reflect an aesthetic that is more than the sum of its parts.

"As dykes, our choice to king it up and create arenas for drag king culture is a political, liberatory move with deep resonances for shaking up outdated, oppressive gender systems and sexual codes, as well as our own potential for power. Queers and trannies do more than survive (and live) at the margins of society; through the exaggerations, perversions, and transmutations we create, we push human behavior to a futuristic edge. Drag kinging produces new erotics, new genders, and new forms and modes of power."
?k. Bradford, from ?Grease Cowboy Fever or the Making of Johnny T.?

The Drag King Anthology is an essential read for anyone interested in drag or the performance of masculinity. A valuable resource for academics working in sociology, anthropology, gender studies, pop culture, and contemporary critical theory, the book lends itself to coursework at the graduate and undergraduate levels.


  • Introduction
  • Grease Cowboy Fever, or the Making of Johnny T.
  • Me Boy
  • ?I Am the Man!? Performing Gender and Other Incongruities
  • Making Kings
  • Lesbian Drag Kings and the Feminine Embodiment of the Masculine
  • Capital Drag: Kinging in Washington, DC
  • Kinging in the Heartland; or, the Power of Marginality
  • Walk Like a Man: Enactments and Embodiments of Masculinity and the Potential for Multiple Genders
  • Drag Kings in the New Wave: Gender Performance and Participation
  • A Voice from the Audience
  • One Body, Some Genders: Drag Performances and Technologies
  • Drag King Magic: Performing/Becoming the Other
  • Erotic Arguments and Persuasive Acts: Discourses of Desire and the Rhetoric of Female-to-Male Drag
  • Seeing Double: Thinking Twice, The Toronto Drag Kings and (Re-) Articulations of Masculinity
  • Whose Drag Is It Anyway? Drag Kings and Monarchy in the UK
  • Drag Kings ?Down Under?: An Archive and Introspective of a Few Aussie Blokes
  • Personae
  • Eugene Does His Nails
  • Autoportrait
  • Drag King Workshop Advertisement
  • Performing Masculinities
  • About the Contributors
  • Index
  • Reference Notes Included


?THIS FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND ANTHOLOGY EXAMINES THE 'OTHER SIDE' OF DRAG CULTURE: women who are male impersonators. . . . Makes a statement about gender roles and sexual identity in a society that still tries to put males and females in neatly separate categories. . . . In prose, poetry, and photographs, the contributors introduce us to a brave new world of butches, trannyboys, femmes, and gender variants.? - The Book Nook (GayToday.com, TWN the weekly news, Boston Bay)

?RECOMMENDED FOR STUDENTS AND FACULTY IN FEMINIST AND QUEER THEORY PROGRAMS. . . . OFFERS ENLIGHTENING DISCUSSIONS OF KINGING, of its ability to parody and expose the artificiality of gender and its ability to evoke desire. The essays examine the vitality of kinging in such cities as Washington, Columbus (Ohio), and Minneapolis. The drag king phenomenon has moved beyond New York, London, and San Francisco. The book includes photographs, and even questions and issues for discussion.? - Choice Magazine

?If you did not know of an entire subculture of women dressing, acting, and performing publicly as men who call themselves drag kings, this collection of essays will bring you up to speed. The lively, funny, first-hand reports, the descriptions of shows, and the photographs enliven the debate on just what ?kinging? is.? - Frontiers Magazine

?PRESENTS A WONDERFULLY DIVERSE RANGE OF NEW PERSPECTIVES on drag king culture, drawing together the insights of participants and fans, academic work by scholars from several disciplines, and photographic images of drag performance. INNOVATIVE. . . . Few academic projects have been as successful in striking just the right balance between theory and practice; this anthology should appeal both to the general reader and to cultural critics of the body, sexuality, and gender.? - Laura Doan, Author of Fashioning Sapphism: The Origins of a Modern English Lesbian Culture; Director, Women's Studies Centre, University of Manchester

?OFFERS INSIDER REPORTS on the current state of several drag kingdoms, including Columbus, Ohio and the Midwest in general, Washington, DC, Montreal and Toronto, Canada, and Adelaide, Australia. HIGHLY ACCESSIBLE . . . blends its gender theories into entertaining personal narratives about performance and fandom. The contributors address questions about embodiment, location, authenticity, and desire, and they all express the passion and excitement generated by these lively and provocative scenes.? - Judith Halberstam, Professor of Literature and Cultural Studies, University of California - San Diego; Author of Female Masculinity; Co-author of The Drag King Book

?ALL UNIVERSITY COURSES ON MASCULINITY SHOULD USE THIS BOOK . . . challenges preconceptions through the empirical richness of direct experience. The contributors and editors have worked together to produce cultural analysis that enhances our perception of the dynamic uncertainty of gendered experience.? - Sally R. Munt, DPhil, Subject Chair, Media Studies, University of Sussex

This product was added to our catalog on Friday 31 March, 2006.
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