The inaugural Cultural Rhetorics Conference kicks off this October! I am excited to bring my continued interest in queer video, as well as the collaborative Queer Rhetorics work of Queer Theory Playground, to the conversation.

Queer Video as Cultural Rhetorics

Queer videomaking offers a deep history of experimental, avant-garde, and independent moviemaking, particularly as models for meaning-making in patriarchal and imperial cisgender systems of power (e.g. Hollywood, the academy). Video has become a cultural practice in which queer people began and continue to make and see ourselves, a practice we use to tell the stories of our queer lives, and a practice of queer activism and resistance.

This presentation will look at the work of queer feminist videomakers Barbara Hammer and Cheryl Dunye. Hammer is an iconic lesbian feminist filmmaker who started making experimental films in the 1970s that told lesbian stories through sex, archival footage, and relationships. And Dunye, Black queer filmmaker and scholar, has developed the “dunyementary,” a style of filmmaking mixing elements of narrative filmmaking with documentary. Both filmmakers’ use of video as telling untold stories while negotiating how to narrate historically marginalized identities/positions/etc. offers useful methodologies for queer cultural rhetorics.

Through an analysis of their films, I will elaborate on theories of queer methodology through videomaking. Particularly mapping relationships across queer media studies, multimodal composition, and cultural rhetorics. My interest in queer video as cultural rhetorics is to situate my own experimental documentary videomaking as a scholar in rhetoric and composition in a history of videomaking as queer methodologies.

WITH QTP – Panel Title: Public Sex as Queer Rhetorics: What Clayton Pettet Can Teach Us About Sex Negative Culture

Clay Pettet recently gained attention for his proposed piece, “Art School Stole My Virginity”, in which he loses his virginity to a partner, aka gets fucked in a box. This roundtable considers four theoretical focuses—risk, economies of loss, spatial affect, and temporality—to explore the meaning-making practices and surrounding discourses in Pettet’s project.

In “The Queer Time of Clay Pettet’s Virginity,” I consider the temporalities of the project, looking at the anticipatory “befores” in relation to the unexpected “afters” of Pettet’s performance by examining the meaning-making practices evident before and after the performance. And in the broader context of queer culture, what has led us to this moment, and where do we go from here?

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