In this shortcast edition of the Podcast for Social Research, recorded live at BISR Central, BISR’s Rebecca Ariel Porte, Paige Sweet, and special guest Sonia Werner take an in-depth look back at Jamie Babbit’s 1999 queer cult classic But I’m a Cheerleader—a campy send-up of gay conversion therapy and compulsory heterosexuality. What are the “roots” of sexual desire? Rebecca, Paige, and Sonia parse the film’s playful mockery of the very notion—spoiler alert!—that sexuality (of any stripe) has anything so neatly grounded about it. Topics touched on include: sexuality’s intersubjective structure, plastic flowers and monochrome palettes, Robert Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy, comedy as coping mechanism, femme queerness, butch visibility, camp as a celebration of surfaces, Foucault, discipline, straight pedagogy, and more!
The Podcast for Social Research is produced by Elliot Yokum. If you like what you’ve heard, consider subscribing to Brooklyn Institute’s Patreon Page, where you can enjoy access to all past and future episodes of the podcast.