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Texas Christian University (TCU) will hold a “Queer Art of Drag” course where students will be required to create a “drag persona” and give a performance, a report from Campus Reform revealed.
The course, which will be held through the Women and Gender Studies department, will be taught by Dr. Nino Testa, who has a drag persona called “Maria Von Clapp.”
“Drag is an art form with a rich history of challenging dominant norms and systems of oppression; building queer community; and cultivating experiences of queer joy in a hostile world,” TCU’s website reads.
While the website does note that drag has sometimes been “deployed in service of violent ideologies,” the website adds, “Critical drag explores drag performance as an outlet for social critique, pedagogy, and queer world making.”
The syllabus notes that students will have to “participate in a live group number on the night of the Spectrum Drag Show” in order to receive an A or A- in the course. They will also have to write a “drag bibliography” focusing on 8-10 articles “about the people, performers, aesthetics, movements, politics, ideas, or communities” that inspire their drag personas. Those enrolled in the course will also be assigned a minute long lip sync performance in front of the class.
An assignment called “My Drag Worksheet” is split up into several different parts, requiring students to “name your drag persona,” and “describe your drag persona,” while also creating a “drag greeting” and going on to “strike a pose.”
A four page “Drag Vision Board” provides a “series of brainstorming questions to help [students] begin to do the critical self reflection necessary to develop a drag persona,” according to the syllabus.
It asks students to share a “first drag memory,” before also asking, “What three words would you use to describe your drag persona?” One question on the vision board reads, “What is your drag name? Pronouns?” while another asks, “What props, costume, makeup, set will you need to execute this?”
Yet another prompt asks, “Who is your drag persona? What are they all about? What norms, ideas, or beliefs do they challenge or celebrate?”