As is the fate of many blogs, this PhD blog has unfortunately been neglected! However, I think it might be useful to resurrect it - as it were - and use it as a space to discuss my research and current thoughts.
I haven't been idle in the time since I last posted here. I've unfortunately had to deal with some disability related problems, but I've also happily progressed with my thesis and other academic work. When I last posted, I was revising my paper for the Queer London Conference, which took place at the University of Westminster. It was a vibrant and exciting conference, and my thanks are due to Simon Avery and Kate Graham who organized it. As well as enjoying papers on queer spaces in historical London, I encountered contemporary queer activists and ethnographers, including a queer sex worker and activist, and an academic working to explore and improve the conditions experienced by older LGBT people in London. Simon and Kate were also kind enough to invite me to take part in the anthology arising from the conference, now tentatively entitled Sex, Time and Place: Queer Histories of London, c.1850 to the Present. The anthology will be published by Bloomsbury Academic, and I look forward to finalizing my chapter 'Are Drag Kings Still Too Queer for London: From the 19th Century Male Impersonator to the Drag King of Today'. My thanks also go to Drag King Adam All, Jen Powell, and her partner in crime, Apple Derrieres, Elly Burke. I've had the pleasure of interviewing Jen for the project, and have carried out much of my research into drag king performance at her gigs. London based people should check out Boi Box, the regular Drag King Cabaret Night at SheSoho, which you can check out via facebook here:
Kate and Simon have also set up a Queer London Forum, which hosts a variety of queer speakers. Their next event will be a screening of award winning film Brace(2014, dir Alicia Eyo and Sophy Holland) which will be followed by a Q & A with writer and star of the film Jake Graf. This will be co-organized by the University of Westminster LGBT Staff Network, and will take place on Saturday the 28th of February at 4pm at the University of Westminster (room TBC). Places are free but must be booked: follow https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/brace-film-screening-plus-qa-with-jake-graf-tickets-15665442761
In terms of my other work, I'm currently working on my literary chapter, examining drag at work in Rachilde's Monsieur Vénus (1884), Virginia Woolf's Orlando (1929), and Monique Wittig's Le Corps Lesbien (1973). One key strand of this chapter is to explore the protoqueer literary and stylistic techniques at work in these texts, demonstrating how these techniques resonate with queer theoretical approaches to drag performance. I'm thrilled to be presenting a paper relating to this chapter at Lesbian Lives 2015; Professor Lisa Downing kindly invited me to be on a panel with her and with Dr Lara Cox. The panel will be devoted to Anglo-French Protoqueer feminisms, with each paper engaging with Wittig's work among other perspectives. My paper is entitled 'Fucking the Body, Rewriting the Text: Protoqueer Gender Expression through Textual Drag in Wittig's Le Corps Lesbien and Woolf's Orlando'. I'm so excited to present with Lisa and Lara, as well as looking forward to the conference as a whole.
Hoping to post again soon.