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Escudero-Alías, Maite. 2009. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.  ISBN: 978-1-4438-0216-1, 223 pages.




Escudero-Alías, Maite (2009)
Long Live the King: A Genealogy of Performative Genders. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. ISBN: 978-1-4438-0216-1, 223 pages.?



Masculinity is no longer a monolithic category, if ever it was. Long Live the King is a solid piece of scholarship that explores in depth the drag king phenomenon as well as key theoretical texts by feminist, postcolonial and cultural thinkers. Escudero-Alías delves into drag king culture and highlights its relevance for the study of the relationship between gender, sex, race and sexuality. Introduced by a well-informed theoretical chapter that traces the roots of queer theory, Long Live the King provides the reader with a rigorous textual and cultural examination of drag kings’ most innovative performances of masculinity in the USA and the UK. These chapters prove groundbreaking in their acute analyses of drag kings’ acts in different media, ranging from still images to live performances, documentaries, mainstream television series and literature. Theory and analysis blend perfectly and Escudero-Alías’s main contention in this research – the ambivalent nature of drag kings’ performances of masculinity – is conducted convincingly. This book constitutes an invaluable contribution to the field of gender studies and a fair assessment of the political impact of minority artistic practices in contemporary culture.

"Objective without being objectifying, Long Live the King is the first intensive analysis of Drag Kingdom written by a self-admitted 'outsider.' The insights that Escudero-Alías offers into this world of performative masculinities are funneled through the lens of Butlerian feminism, yet tempered by a frank admiration for the Kings and their work. This book offers a unique perspective that complements extant work on Drag Kings and is a must-read for anyone interested in gender performance or female masculinities." (Sara E. Cooper, Associate Professor of Multicultural & Gender Studies, Chico, California State University.)