Accessibility Navigation:

Katie Horowitz


Ph.D., M.A. University of California, Berkeley (Rhetoric)
B.A. Wesleyan University (Dance, French Studies)


My teaching and research areas are situated in rhetoric, gender and sexuality studies, performance studies, and American studies. Broadly, I am interested in the tensions between discursive and embodied experiences of racial, sexual, and gender identities as they emerge from "low," marginal, and underground cultures. More specifically, this has led me to study and write about pornography, abortion, drag, sex work, and queer, feminist, and transgender performance art.

My first book project, The Trouble with "Queerness," responds to the charge that queer theory too often represents the history, culture, and desires of white, middle-class gay men as universal to all LGBTQQIA people. I explore this complaint through an ethnographic case study of drag king and queen performance cultures in Cleveland, Ohio, arguing that these practices have almost nothing in common with each other. The fact that these iconically "queer" institutions overlap little with respect to audience, movement vocabulary, stage persona, and treatment of gender, class, race, and sexuality reflects the perennial rift between lesbians and gay men and highlights the heteronormativity of the assumption that all of the identity categories encompassed by the queer umbrella ought to have anything in common culturally, politically, or otherwise. I argue instead for the legitimacy of studies that focus exclusively on e.g., gay men or lesbians or trans women, free from the compulsion to extrapolate one's claims to the rest of the queer spectrum.

My second book project is a queer cultural history of loneliness. This work accounts for the ways in which LGBTQ Americans have defined themselves and their sexual practices through and in terms of feeling alone. While much ink has been spilled on the digital age's institutionalization of solitude and its deleterious effect on relationship- and community-building, little has been said about the queer instrumentalization of loneliness as a technology of identity production. Indeed, I argue, there is a long tradition of queer self-representation that eroticizes solitude. I invite readers into an archive of artists, writers, and performers who (re)claim loneliness as a defining trope of queer sexuality and sexual practice.


WRI 101 #TwitterProblems
GSS 321 Sex Outside the City
Rhetoric of Sexualities
Matters of Life and Death: Reproduction, Necropolitics, and the State
Performing the Real: YouTube, Reality TV, and the Construction of the American Self
Trans* Performance
Topics in Transnational Sexuality Studies