Graduation Year

2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Communication

Major Professor

Stacy Holman Jones

Keywords

autoethnography, ethnomusciology, performance ethnography, utopian performative

Abstract

This study explores the historic relationship between pop music divas and gay male fandom. It charts fan experiences from the early 60s with Judy Garland to contemporary times with pop diva Lady Gaga. This project also gives a description of the embodied experience of Brett Farmer's "queer sublimity of diva reception." Farmer (2005) argues that diva worship among gay men has become a queer sublimity, "the transcendence of a limiting heteronormative materiality and the sublime reconstruction, at least in fantasy, of a more capacious, kinder, queerer world" (p. 170). Using the methods of participant observation in drag performance and karaoke singing, performance ethnography, and autoethnography, I attempt to understand how a diva's performance can influence the lives of gay men and how it can inspire visions of a more perfect world for everyone.

Share

COinS