The Performance Identities of Lady Gaga

Critical Essays

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About the Book

Three years after entering the pop music scene, Lady Gaga became the most well-known pop star in the world. These thirteen critical essays explore Lady Gaga’s body of work through the interdisciplinary filter of performance identity and cover topics such as gender and sexuality, body commodification, visual body rhetoric, drag performance, homosexuality and heteronormativity, Surrealism and the theatre of cruelty, the carnivalesque, monstrosity, imitation and parody, human rights, and racial politics. Of particular interest is the way that Lady Gaga’s œuvre, however popular, strange, raw or controversial, enters into the larger sociopolitical discourse, challenging the status quo and altering our perceptions of reality.

About the Author(s)

Richard J. Gray II is an assistant professor of French at Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio. His fields of study include interdisciplinary approaches to French literary studies, language, film, cultural studies, and women’s studies. He lives in Ashland, Ohio.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Richard J. Gray II
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 271
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6830-0
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9252-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface    1
Introduction    3

The Sex of Lady Gaga
MATHIEU DEFLEM      19
Lady Gaga’s Bodies: Buying and Selling The Fame Monster
ELIZABETH KATE SWITAJ      33
Body Language and “Bad Romance”: The Visual Rhetoric of the Artist
JENNIFER M. SANTOS      52
What a Drag: Lady Gaga, Jo Calderone and the Politics of Representation
HEATHER DUERRE HUMANN      74
Follow the Glitter Way: Lady Gaga and Camp
KATRIN HORN      85
Lady Gaga and the Wolf: “Little Red Riding Hood,” The Fame Monster and Female Sexuality
JENNIFER M. WOOLSTON      107
Surrealism, the Theatre of Cruelty and Lady Gaga
RICHARD J. GRAY II      122
Rabelais Meets Vogue: The Construction of Carnival, Beauty and Grotesque
DAVID ANNANDALE      142
The Fame Monster: The Monstrous Construction of Lady Gaga
ANN T. TORRUSIO      160
The Appropriation of the Madonna Aesthetic
REBECCA M. LUSH      173
Performing Pop: Lady Gaga, “Weird Al” Yankovic and Parodied Performance
MATTHEW R. TURNER      188
“I Hope When I’m Dead I’ll Be Considered an Icon”: Shock Performance and Human Rights
KARLEY ADNEY      203
Whiteness and the Politics of “Post-Racial” America
LAURA GRAY-ROSENDALE, STEPHANIE CAPALDO, SHERRI CRAIG and EMILY DAVALOS      218

Works Cited      235
About the Contributors      253
Index      257

Book Reviews & Awards

“Excellent”—The Journal of Popular Culture