The mass shooting at a queer Latin Night in Orlando in July 2016 sparked a public conversation about access to pleasure and selfhood within conditions of colonization, violence, and negation. Queer Nightlife (U Michigan Press, 2021) joins this conversation by centering queer and trans people of color who apprehend the risky medium of the night to explore, know, and stage their bodies, genders, and sexualities in the face of systemic and social negation. The book focuses on house parties, nightclubs, and bars that offer improvisatory conditions and possibilities for “stranger intimacies,” and that privilege music, dance, and sexual/gender expressions. Queer Nightlife extends the breadth of research on “everynight life” through twenty-five essays and interviews by leading scholars and artists. The book’s four sections move temporally from preparing for the night (how do DJs source their sounds, what does it take to travel there, who promotes nightlife, what do people wear?); to the socialities of nightclubs (how are social dance practices introduced and taught, how is the price for sex negotiated, what styles do people adopt to feel and present as desirable?); to the staging and spectacle of the night (how do drag artists confound and celebrate gender, how are spaces designed to create the sensation of spectacularity, whose bodies become a spectacle already?); and finally, how the night continues beyond the club and after sunrise (what kinds of intimacies and gestures remain, how do we go back to the club after Orlando?).
Dr. Kemi Adeyemi is assistant professor of gender, women, and sexuality studies and director of The Black Embodiments Studio at the University of Washington.
Dr. Kareem Khubchandani is the Mellon Bridge assistant professor in theater, dance, and performance studies, and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at Tufts University.
Dr. Ramón Rivera-Servera is Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Professor of Theatre and Dance at the University of Texas at Austin.
Isabel Machado is Research Associate with the SARChI Chair in South African Art and Visual Culture hosted by the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture at the University of Johannesburg.
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