Congresos y reuniones científicas
Contemporary American Queer Drama: Camp, not Humor
Congreso; TaCo 2016: Taboo Humo(u)r. Taboo Humo(u)r: language, culture, society, and the media; 2016
Institución organizadora:
Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Over the past 20 years, the American LGBTQ liberationist movement has managed to make new voices heard and acquired certain social conquests, partly overturning decades of exclusion and segregation. However, some of the cultural productions from the margins are not usually translated: These new voices are still unheard in many places in the planet. The intersections between sexuality and ethnic identity ? both individual prerogatives that are still largely deemed taboos ? offer a model of characterization in drama highlighting diversity, addressing topics frequently overlooked by the mainstream, and posing complex translation problems. The crosses between race and sexualities focus on the preservation of otherness as a response to conformity to social mores. In that respect, there is one main recurrent strategy in these dramas, the use of camp. I intend to underline the idea that camp ? and not humor itself ? is most frequently used on the queer stage to trivialize the tragedy of marginal existence. This analysis studies three queer plays belonging to Asian-American, Chicano and African-American playwrights who aim at transgressing hegemonic standards of normality and reject the idea of accommodating to society expectations delving into the necessary strategies for their translation. While these authors challenge American drama from the point of view of subject matter, characterization and dramatic structure, noting difference at the center of their plays, their lack of translation limits the scope of their influence. In the conclusions, I reveal that the new American queer theater may be that which rekindles the spark of belligerence that may have been lost when gay ceased to be a synonym for marginal and became another mainstream construct while, from the point of reception, I pose the question as to where we stand regarding the lack of translation of marginal texts.