CALL FOR CHAPTERS: Queer Visibility, Online Discourse and Political Change: From RuPaul’s Drag Race to Drag in the Global Digital Public Sphere

CALL FOR CHAPTERS: Queer Visibility, Online Discourse and Political Change: From RuPaul’s Drag Race to Drag in the Global Digital Public Sphere

Deadline: March 15, 2019

On both popular and academic levels, interest in drag culture has exploded since the reality-competition television series RuPaul’s Drag Race first aired in 2009 on Logo TV in the US. With the migration of the series to VH1 and global availability through streaming services such as Netflix, drag has become even more ensconced in mainstream popular culture, thus moving even further from earlier understandings of drag as a subculture of queer protest and/or limited to the gay club environment.

For the most part, however, recent academic work on drag has focused on RuPaul’s Drag Race itself for its textual/production qualities, contestant representation of LGBTQ identities, and physical viewers/fan communities, leaving unaddressed implications of how RuPaul’s Drag Race has generated interest and participation in a particular drag perspective within the global digital public sphere. Concern for drag in a global digital public sphere should also consider the ways in which online discourse is shaping prospects of visibility and political change for LGBTQ individuals and communities around the world, particularly in increasingly isolated and politically regressive areas of the world.

Following the publication and success of RuPaul’s Drag Race and the Shifting Visibility of Drag Culture: The Boundaries of Reality TV (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), its editors invite chapter proposals for a new, edited volume concerned with the general themes of queer visibility, online discourse, emerging digital technologies, and political change as they relate to drag culture. Proposed chapter topics may consider, but are certainly not limited to, the following:

– Theorizing a global digital public sphere in relation to drag culture

– Drag and public discourse as they apply to online/digital spheres

– Political discourse and change within drag culture’s online/digital spheres

– The digital public sphere and self-promotional culture

– Authorized or unauthorized online extensions of RuPaul’s Drag Race

– YouTube drag stars, (micro) performers and online platforms

– The role of technology in creating a drag global digital public sphere

– Generational participation patterns in global digital drag culture

– Issues of labor surrounding online drag personalities

– Establishing a drag brand in the global digital public sphere

– What drag culture can teach us about emerging digital environments

– Relations and tensions between online and offline drag cultures

– Audience and fan roles in creating and shaping online drag personalities and cultures

– Emerging media’s roles in altering traditional drag labor, expectations and rewards

– Case studies situated at the intersection of drag culture and the global digital sphere

In particular, we seek proposals from outside North America and Western Europe to contribute to a truly multi-perspectival understanding of drag in a global digital public sphere. We also encourage proposals from newly-established scholars.

Please email chapter proposals of up to 500 words in length, as well as brief author biographical information, to the volume editors at nbrennan@fairfield.edu and dgudelunas@ut.edu by 15 March 2019. Decisions on proposals will be made and communicated to authors around 1 April 2019. Note that multiple academic publishers have already expressed interest in the volume.

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