Queer Categorical Miscegenation: Sexuality, Race, Gender, Class, and Ethnicity in Victor Bumbalo’s Niagara Falls and Questa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

How might analyses of queer Italian American media engage with critical race theory? This essay employs insights from such theory both to further the investigation of the history of modern Italian and Italian American racial identity and to consider how works of queer Italian American media might be haunted by this history. The essay considers two plays by gay white Italian American playwright Victor Bumbalo: Niagara Falls and Questa. Each of these plays seeks to represent race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality, and so seems particularly suited to being read alongside (queer) critical race theory. Both were also nominated for the prestigious Lambda Literary Award for Drama: Questa in 2006 and, following its republication, Niagara Falls in 2007. Recognized, then, for their value by an institution of LGBTQ Anglophone US literary culture, they bear a certain representational weight. Rather than adopt an “intersectional” approach, the essay attempts to understand race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality as co-constitutive; to this end, it builds on Ray Chow’s concept of “categorical miscegenation,” which argues that, thanks to modern biopower, any claim about race is also a claim about sexuality, for example.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationItalian and Italian American Studies
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Pages107-139
Number of pages33
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NameItalian and Italian American Studies
ISSN (Print)2635-2931
ISSN (Electronic)2635-294X

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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