Cameron Crookston, "The Cultural Impact of Rupaul's Drag Race: Why Are We All Gagging?" (Intellect, 2021)
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In The Cultural Impact of RuPaul's Drag Race: Why are we all Gagging? (Intellect, 2021) Cameron Crookston has compiled chapters from scholars in theatre and performance studies, English literature, cultural anthropology, media studies, linguistics, sociology, and marketing. The collection analyzes the global impact of RuPaul's drag race on local, live cultures, fan cultures, queer representation, and the very fabric of drag as an art form in popular cultural consciousness. The collection goes beyond the mere analysis of the show itself and examines the profound effect that RuPaul's Drag Race has had on the cultures that surround it: audience cultures, economics, branding, queer politics, and all points in between. What was once a cult show marketed primarily to gay men, Drag Race has drawn both praise and criticism for its ability to market itself to broader, straighter, and increasingly younger fans. The show's depiction of drag as both a celebrated form of entertainment and as a potentially lucrative career path has created an explosion of aspiring queens in unprecedented numbers and had far-reaching impacts on drag as both an art form and a career.
Rebekah Buchanan is an Associate Professor of English and Director of English Education at Western Illinois University. Her research focuses on feminism, activism, and literacy practices in youth culture, specifically through zines and music.
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