IIPC Debate #50
Professor J. Jack Halberstam (University of Southern California): “Going Gaga”
Fri 13 December, 10-12 am Janus Hall (Kaivokatu 12, Turku)
“In this short provocation I want to propose that we have much to learn from pondering the world of Gaga, the fame monster who is positively Warholesque in her love of attention and absolutely masterful in her use of celebrity, fashion and gender ambiguity, to craft and transmit multiple messages about new matrices of race, class, gender and sexuality and even about the meaning of the human. Some of these forms of being arise out of creative uses of the platform offered by celebrity, others arise out of wild relations to a series of lively objects and a new understanding of feminist politics in the wake of post-structuralism. Now, what I am calling Gaga here certainly derives from Lady Gaga and has everything to do with Lady Gaga but is not limited to Lady Gaga. Just as Andy Warhol was a channel for a set of new relations between culture, visibility, marketability and queerness, so the genius of Gaga allows Lady Gaga to become the vehicle for performing the very particular arrangement of bodies, genders, desires, communication, race, affect and flow that we might now want to call Gaga Feminism.”
J. Jack Halberstam is Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, Gender Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California. Halberstam is the author of five books including: Skin Shows: othic Horror and the Technology of Monsters (Duke UP, 1995), Female Masculinity (Duke UP, 1998), In A Queer Time and Place (NYU Press, 2005), The Queer Art of Failure (Duke UP, 2011) and Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal (Beacon Press, 2012) and has written articles that have appeared in numerous journals, magazines and collections. Halberstam is currently working on several projects including a book on Fascism and (homo)sexuality.
Halberstam has co-edited a number of anthologies including Posthuman Bodies with Ira Livingston (Indiana University Press, 1995) and a special issue of Social Text with Jose Munoz and David Eng titled “What’s Queer About Queer Studies Now?” Jack is a popular speaker and gives lectures around the USA and internationally every year. Lecture topics include: queer failure, sex and media, subcultures, visual culture, gender variance, popular film, animation.