Drawing on rich interdisciplinary research that has laced the emerging subject of drag studies as an academic discipline, this book examines how drag performance is a political, socio-cultural practice with a widespread lineage throughout the history of performance. This text centres on the importance of dragging up the past to see beyond present drag constructs. Therefore, this volume maps the multi-threaded contexts of contemporary practices while rooting them in their fabulous historical past and memory.
The chapters in the book not only examine drag histories, but also what drag does with history, how it enacts or tells stories about remembering and the past. Featuring work about the USA, UK and Ireland, Japan, Australia, Brazil and Barbados, through contributions from an international assortment of performers, academics and writers, this book allows the reader to engage with a range of archive research including photographic explorations of ageing drag queens; ethnicity and drag; queering ballet through drag; the connections between drag king and queen history; queering pantomime performance; bodies as living archives through memory and place; drag mothers and daughters; drag and military veterans; Puerto Rican drag performers and historical film.
The volume functions not only to contribute to the area of drag history, but also touch on current work in drag that is done about history. Collectively, these essays complement the contemporary practices documented in Contemporary Drag Practices and Performers: Drag in a Changing Scene (2020), yet they offer echoes of a distinctive drag history, enlarging the remit of history to uncover drag's fruitful past.