Paris is Burning: Reading and a Screening

Saturday July 14th

6-9pm at Pro Musica

“James Baldwin makes the point in The Fire Next Time that “people who cannot suffer can never grow up, can never discover who they are.” Without being sentimental about suffering, Dorian Carey urges all of us to break through denial, through the longing for an illusory star identity, so that we can confront and accept ourselves as we really are–only then can fantasy, ritual, be a site of seduction, passion, and play where the self is truly recognized, loved, and never abandoned or betrayed.”

-bell hooks, “Is Paris Burning?”

Since it came out in 1990, the indie documentary Paris is Burning has helped frame discussions of drag culture and the construction of gender. It’s also inspired fierce debate — notably, between scholarly luminaries bell hooks and Judith Butler. We’ll read hooks’ critique of the film and Butler’s rebuttal, then get together for a screening.

NOTE: If you only have time to read one essay, make it hooks’.

Here are the essays:




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