FACING_DRAG in Popular Cultures and Performing Arts




Drag, a key concept in Gender Studies, has been theorized as a practice of queering, of re-signifying. Against the backdrop of manifold articulations of colonialism and racism, this transdisciplinary conference aims at re-thinking „drag". It brings together scholars and artists from different parts of the globe to address, to historicize and to contextualize – to face – practices of othering and of mimesis in performing arts and in popular culture.


organized by: Evelyn Annuß, Silke Felber, Julia Ostwald

Universität für darstellende Kunst und Musik
Fanny Hensel Saal
Anton-von-Webern-Platz 1
1030 Vienna

or online via Zoom-Link 
Meeting-ID: 670 3390 9369
Kenncode: 840156


Please note that a registration is not required.

We welcome masking – in this case to protect our guests, i.e. please bring a FFP2 mask and do test yourself before the conference, if possible.



Thu, 23 June 5 pm — 8 pm (CET)

5 pm

Welcome Address
Ulrike Sych, Rector, mdw


Evelyn Annuß, mdw-Gender Studies

5:15 pm

Keynote: Creolisation, ‘Indigenisation’, Ethno-masquerade

Zimitri Erasmus (Johannesburg)

6:15 pm

Artist Talk – Beyond Drag

Nora Chipaumire (New York)

Jay Pather (Cape Town)


Fri, 24 June 10 am — 6 pm (CET)

10 am

Colonial Legacies

Karin Harrasser (Linz): Jesuit Drag. Shamans as Priests, Priests as Shamans

meLê yamomo (Amsterdam): When a lover says "I love you", is it the words or is it the sayer that matters?

12:15 pm


Aurélie Godet (Paris): Festive Drag in Context: Historicizing Transvestism in New Orleans from the Eighteenth Century to the Present

Nadia Davids (Cape Town): Creolisation, Cosmopolitanism and Queerness in the District Six Carnival

4 pm

Plantation Afterlives

Elaine Frantz Parsons (Kent State): Masks of Whiteness/ Masks of Blackness: Deadly Race Play in the Reconstruction Era United States

Eric Lott (New York): Blackface from Time to Time


Sat, 25 June 10 am — 3 pm (CET)

10 am:00

Media and Performances

Raz Weiner (London): A Nation Among Nations of Nature: Zionist Blackface in Kibbutz Educational Performances

Katrin Köppert (Bochum): De-Facing Affect: On Digital Blackface

  Coffee and Finger Food
1 pm

Nanna Heidenreich (Vienna): Whose Portrait? Fabulations and triangulations in Shirley Clarkes Portrait of Jason (USA 1967)

Julia Ostwald (Vienna): Performing Exoticism in European Dance Modernism: Japonist Entanglements