In this ethnography of the drag king subculture in Amsterdam I locate the transformative and subversive potential of drag king performances on the larger queer community. Based upon four months of fieldwork spent interviewing drag king performers and queer community members while also attending queer parties, I will show how the burgeoning community of drag kings in Amsterdam work to reconfigure structures of domination within and outside of the LGBTQ community. Despite the history of Dutch tolerance and the sexually liberal atmosphere of Amsterdam, many members of the queer community, including but not limited to lesbian, bisexual, trans, and queer identified people, still do not have a space to network, gather, make visible their identities, and voice their political beliefs. The sudden resurgence of interest in drag kinging as both a subjective exploration of gender and sexuality as well as a political act has the potential to establish specifically queer venues and spaces. Through as synthesis of ethnographic methods, queer theory, performance theory, and poststructuralism, the study draws some conclusions about the queer potentiality of drag kinging in Amsterdam through the voices of the performers themselves. By placing these practices within the context of Dutch culture and society the ethnography attempts to situate these practices within the historical context of queer life and politics in Amsterdam.
Level of Honors
summa cum laude
Brenda Jenike and Helen Boyd Kramer
Korcek, Michael, "Drag Kinging in Amsterdam: Queer Identity Politics, Subcultural Spaces, and Transformative Potentials" (2010). Lawrence University Honors Projects. 116.