This podcast consists in an introduction to the book of Karen Tongson’s book Relocations: Queer Suburban Imaginaries (2011) that primarily situates its research in Orange County and the Inland Empire, both in Southern California. Demystifying the outsider imaginary of a white heteronormative suburbia, Karen makes for us a (non-exhaustive) inventory of the events and objects that populate these queer imaginaries. From the houses front yards to the mini-malls and from the the Studio K to the performances of JJ Chinois and British pop muisc, she recounts the navigation of queers bodies both in the space of suburbia and in the televisual/musical broadcasted environment.
Karen Tongson is Associate Professor of English and Gender Studies at University of Southern California, and the author of Relocations: Queer Suburban Imaginaries (NYU Press, 2011). Her work has appeared in numerous venues in print and online, including Social Text, GLQ, and Novel: A Forum on Fiction. She is currently the series editor for Postmillennial Pop at NYU Press, and just completed a multi-year term as co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Popular Music Studies. Her current book project, Empty Orchestra: Karaoke. Critical. Apparatus. critiques prevailing paradigms of imitation in contemporary aesthetics and critical theory, while offering a genealogy of karaoke technologies, techniques, and desires.