This course will take place online, for a reduced rate of Full £95 / Conc. £71
Male cross-dressing performance has endured as an essential part of the fabric of British entertainment. From the Elizabethan boy player, to the bawdy Victorian dame, to the glamorous and avant-garde incarnations of the medium seen today, drag has long held the power to arouse amorous passions, laughter, pathos, and controversy – sometimes all at once. We will investigate the concept of drag through the lens of queer performance, national identity, gender and sexuality, and other relevant topics.
Take a look back at Jean Fredericks' famous Drag Balls.
Who is this course for?
This course is for anyone with an interest in drag, the performing arts, queer history, or the history of gender and sexuality; although no prior knowledge or experience of any these areas is required.
Will I need any equipment or materials?
This course will be held via Zoom. You need a computer/laptop or mobile phone to access the Zoom website, and a reliable internet connection. For further information on how to join a Zoom meeting, you can watch the joining video here.
You will also need a pen and notebook for taking notes, or can use your computer/laptop.
Will I be assessed?
There is no formal assessment for courses at Bishopsgate Institute. However, to monitor your learning and progress, tutors will assess your participation in classroom activities.
Image: Bloolips Archive
You will learn
By the end of this course, you will have looked at:
- Why is drag so frequently linked with homosexuality and/or queer culture? How did these connections develop?
- To what extent is drag culture in the UK distinctly British?
- Is drag inherently subversive?
- How has drag been subjected to state, social, and cultural modes of regulation in the past?
Meet the Tutor
Dr Jacob Bloomfield is a Zukunftskolleg Fellow at the University of Konstanz and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Kent.
Jacob’s PhD thesis, "Male Cross-Dressing Performance in Britain, 1918-1970", was undertaken at The University of Manchester and he is currently (slowly) composing a book based on his thesis with the University of California Press. Jacob is also working on a separate research project about the singer Little Richard.
In his spare time, Jacob is a drag queen whose comedy cabaret show, Songs For Glitter Fetishists, has been seen monthly at The George Tavern in Shadwell, London and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He is also an enthusiast of repertory cinema, eyelash glue, glitter, and more.
Introduction to Drag History
Skirting the Censors: Defrocking Drag Scandals and Controversies
Soldiers in Skirts: Cross-Dressing Ex-Servicemen on the British Stage
"Full of Comedy, Surprise, and Pathos": Old Mother Riley and the Anatomy of a Twentieth Century Pantomime Dame
Danny La Rue, the "Permissive Society", and Drag Approaches the New Millenium
"I’m Hanging My Tits Up": Concluding the Course
Need to Know
- 19:00 – 21:00
- Full £95 / Conc. £71
- Bishopsgate Institute
- Dr Jacob Bloomfield
- Max Students
- No. of Sessions
- Course Code