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Taking Pop Seriously: Lady Gaga as Camp

  • Katrin Horn
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter examines how Lady Gaga’s early work combines the critical distance and emotional intensity typical for camp and thus serves as a prime example of Judith Butler’s notion of “serious play,” which exposes heteronormative categorizations as laughable. Through analyses of award show performances, music videos, and a concert tour, Horn relates Gaga’s strategies to earlier “pop divas,” such as Madonna, Cher, and Annie Lennox, and illustrates how intertextuality and transmedial storytelling are used for queer effect. Horn’s reading thus clarifies how visual, vocal, and musical style feature in Gaga’s construction of critique. Her in-depth analysis of The Monster Ball demonstrates the sincere quality of the artist’s extreme theatricality, and explains how Gaga eventually transforms camp into grotesque to disrupt normative modes of representation.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.American StudiesFAU Erlangen-NürnbergErlangenGermany

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