I completed a Master of Arts degree in Women’s and Gender Studies. For two years, I studied the activist potential of Lady Gaga’s social networking use to communicate non-normative gender identities to fans, and to consume fans’ resulting interpretations of those images. I argued that her usage facilitates active interaction with and response to theories of gender performativity rather than just a passive consumption of her transgressive materials. Gaga’s work thereby facilitates activist discourse about gender, sexuality, identity, and expanding social boundaries.
I was the first student to ever graduate Carleton University’s new Women’s and Gender Studies Masters program. When I defended my thesis, I did so in male drag in order to embody my theories about “performing gender”. Instead of a traditional defense presentation, I used the social media platforms I studied in my thesis to create my own transgressive new media project. Check the video out here!
When my thesis was finished, I even got the chance to give Lady Gaga and her mother Cynthia each a copy and have then each sign mine!
(There’s even an embarrassing video of this moment. Check out me trying not to cry as I meet Gaga for the first time here)
If you’d like to read my Lady Gaga thesis, feel free to read or download it here!