Supermodels of the World: RuPaul’s Drag Race as International Phenomenon symposium

Due to disruptions caused by the current Coronavirus crisis, we have extended the deadline for abstracts for the 25th September 2020 symposium- Supermodels of the World: RuPaul’s Drag Race as International Phenomenon.

Dependent on further developments, online participation may become our primary method for all to engage in this one day event. We will, of course, update accordingly.

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Call for Papers:

Supermodels of the World: RuPaul’s Drag Race as International Phenomenon
A One-Day Interdisciplinary Symposium

School of Arts and Media, University of Salford, UK.
25th September 2020

Since its 2009 debut, RuPaul’s Drag Race has shifted from a niche American reality show anomaly to an award-winning global success. This one day symposium will examine its international reach with versions of the contest created in the UK, Thailand and Canada alongside, titular host, Rupaul having already hinted at further growth when teasingly asking journalists “how many countries are there?”.

As a major popular culture event, panels will look to ascertain whether Drag Race – as the dominant depiction of drag in this early part of the 21st Century – represents an expansion or the homogenization of this aspect of LGBTQ+ culture. For example, have the geographical diversions within this TV show (journeying from Cameroon to Northern Ireland, South Korea to Puerto Rico) provided an opportunity to showcase localized interpretations, performances or incarnations? Or has this all-conquering drag empire imposed its own hegemony.

We invite abstracts of up to 250 words by Monday 22nd June 2020.

Possible themes could include (but are not limited to):

Race and cultural identities/experiences within Drag Race.
The local, regional and global impact of Drag Race on scenes.
Social media, fandom and worldwide drag celebrity.
International marketing/consumerism of drag stardom: from DragCon to related TV offerings (Dancing Queen, Drag U, The Trixie and Katya Show, Drag SOS, Dragula, etc).
Drag Race and its place within global LGBTQ+ history.
The lexicon of drag and developments of language/vocabulary.

Please send abstracts by 22nd June 2020 to Dr Danny Cookney D.J.Cookney@salford.ac.uk and Dr Kirsty Fairclough K.Fairclough@salford.ac.uk

Published by kirstyfairclough

Kirsty Fairclough is Associate Dean: Research and Innovation in the School of Arts and Media at the University of Salford, UK and Chair of the University Women’s Voice Network. She has published widely on popular culture and am the co-editor of The Music Documentary: Acid Rock to Electropop (Routledge), The Arena Concert: Music, Media and Mass Entertainment (Bloomsbury) and Music/Video: Forms, Aesthetics, Media. New York, (Bloomsbury) and author of the forthcoming Beyoncé: Celebrity Feminism and Popular Culture (I.B Tauris) and co-author of American Cinema: A Contemporary Introduction (Palgrave). Her work has been published in Senses of Cinema, Feminist Media Studies, SERIES and Celebrity Studies journals and she has made several television and radio appearances. Kirsty has lectured internationally on popular culture, feminism and representations of women most notably at The Royal College of Music, Stockholm, The University of Copenhagen, Second City, Chicago, Columbia College Chicago, Middle Tennessee State University, Unisinos Brazil and Bucknell University, Pennsylvania. She has significant experience in international partnership development, particularly in North America and developed the Salford Popular Culture Conference series with international partner universities, including I’ll See You Again in 25 Years, Twin Peaks and Generations of Cult Television: A Two Day International Conference (University of Salford, May 2015) and Mad Men: The Conference (Middle Tennessee State University, May 2016) and Purple Reign: An interdisciplinary conference on the life and legacy of Prince, a three day international academic conference hosted by the School of Arts and Media, University of Salford, UK and the Department of Recording Industry, Middle Tennessee State University, USA.

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