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July 12, 2020 85 min

Dr. Sadie Hochman-Ruiz holds a PhD from the University of California, San Diego in the Department of Music’s Integrative Studies program. Her dissertation, “The Social Politics of Queer Drag: A Study of San Diego’s Queer Community and Queercore Subculture,” foregrounds an intersectional approach to womanhood, addressing homeland narratives and diasporic identities within a multiracial drag scene. Researching the project, she performed as the drag queen Sadie Pins and engaged creative research methods such as performance ethnography, public humanities and research justice. Her current research focuses on trans studies and transnational queer communities.

In her article, "Why Political?" Sadie unpacks the heavy racial baggage attached to doing queer work as it is currently defined. By including an origin story for queerness within queercore subculture, Sadie uses queercore sound––the soundtrack of queercore co-founder Bruce LaBruce's first feature film No Skin Off My Ass (1991)––to analyze the race and class dynamics of doing queer work. Sadie offers observations from shifts in art-practice as a performance ethnographer in which she responds to the challenges of marrying queer drag with its anti-racist and anti-capitalist intentions. This article brings together music studies, queer of colour critique and critical university studies in a way which centres performance-based work as a privileged site of critical intervention. With this work, Sadie encourages artist-researchers to rethink the relationship between the political intentions of their performance practice and the critical theory with which we isolate and claim those politics 

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