Tag Archives: jack halberstam

A public lecture by Prof Jack Halberstam:

Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender and the End of Normal

August 21st 18:00-20:00
Graduate Seminar Room, Southwest Engineering, East Campus

Book cover for "Gaga Feminism" by Jack Halberstam of USC Dornsife

“My book Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender and the End of Normal (Beacon Press, 2012) made
the claim that the “existing conditions” under which the building blocks of human identity
were imagined and cemented in the last century—what we call gender, sex, race and
class—have changed so radically that new life can be glimpsed ahead. Our task is […] as
Nietzsche suggests … to impose upon the categorical chaos and crisis that surrounds us
only “as much regularity and form as our practical needs require.” The goal here is to
learn how to read contemporary shifts in the meaning of sexuality and gender as
indicative of other shifts and changes in the culture at large.”

Jack Halberstam is Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, Gender
Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California.
Halberstam’s most prolific publications include Skin Shows: Gothic 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).


“Every couple of seasons, like warriors of an ancient cult or like the antagonists in Games of Thrones, scholars arm themselves for battle over the ownership of the term “queer.” These battles have pitted historians against literary critics, empiricism against abstract theory, those with investments in the normative against those with investments in resistance; Foucaultians against Deleuzians, boys against girls, gender queers against cis-genders, people who watch Project Runway versus people who watch women’s tennis, Broadway musical lovers against performance art fans, people who want the freedom to marry against people who want freedom from marriage, pet lovers versus pet haters and so on. It seems to be a queer rite, in addition, to claim that, queer is over!”