FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Literary Burlesque: Raising Eyebrows and Funds for a Local Cause
Most Londoners have probably never heard of the Graduate English Society at Western University. It’s comprised of burgeoning scholars in Western’s Department of English who, apart from working on their Master’s and PhD requirements, teach undergraduate students, conduct research with professors, and publish research of their own. Many are also finding ways to reach out to the community—to show the relevance of English studies to the urban spaces around them and to society at large. After all, English isn’t merely about analyzing novels and poetry. Cultural studies, gender studies, horror studies, food studies, eco-criticism, even video game theory: while all of these areas of scholarship can be informed by classic literature, their relevance to the twenty-first century is obvious.
With these and other ideas in mind, members of the GES are partnering with YOUR Drag & Burlesque to deliver an evening of literary-themed performance, with proceeds going to Open Closet, a London support group for LGBTQ teens (http://www.hivaidsconnection.ca/open-closet). This 19+ event is being held at the London Music Club, 470 Colborne St, on Thursday, November 29th. Doors open at 9:00pm; the show starts at 10:00pm. Tickets, which can be purchased at the door, are $10.00, with a policy that no one is turned away for lack of funds.
See a guilt-ridden but erogenous Lady MacBeth cover her husband in “blood.” Follow a hairy-chested Little Red Riding Hood on the way to grandma’s house. Watch Sherlock Holmes and Watson investigate a crime—with more than a little sexual tension in the air. Feast your eyes on one of the sexy dancing felines from Cats (the musical, of course, is based on poetry by T.S. Eliot). It’s all in good, often humorous fun, designed to raise both eyebrows and charity money.
Though this genre of entertainment may not be for everyone, both drag and burlesque are centuries-old forms of performance. And as PhD student and performer Diana Samu-Visser explains, they are deeply rooted in satire and comedy, and yet they’re often also dramatic reflections on issues of the eras in which they are staged. “Drag and burlesque forge important ties in and between communities,” says Samu-Visser, who performs as Miss Sixty Lashes at Thursday’s event.
The idea to partner with YOUR Drag & Burlesque came from GES Social Coordinator Meghan Adams, a PhD student in English. Adams, who also performs, sees the event as a chance to engage the academic community with every day social needs. This show, she says, “is close to the hearts of many of our young department members because it uses the arts we love to effect change and support youth in the community in which we live and work.” GES co-chair Darren Monteith who, along with Jeremy Greenway, gave the project the green light, concurs. “We tend to assume communities outside and within the university are separate,” notes Monteith, “but there are great things we can accomplish by thinking of them together.”
WHAT: The Graduate English Society at Western presents YOUR Drag & Burlesque Show: Literary Edition
WHEN: Thursday, November 29th, 2012. Doors open at 9pm; show at 10pm. 19+
WHERE: The London Music Club, 470 Colborne St, London
COST: $10 in advance or at the door (no one turned away for lack of funds); proceeds go to Open Closet, support group in London for LGBTQ youth aged 14-18
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact GES Co-chair Jeremy Greenway (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Join us on Thursday, October 25 at 4pm in the Grad Club for this year’s first Pints with Profs. What better way to start off the 2012-13 series than with two of our brand-new faculty additions? That’s right: enjoy a beverage with Professors Anne McTaggart and Kate Stanley. Watch and listen as they’re “interviewed” about their grad school memories, secret talents, literary passions (or hatreds), and much more. Ask your own questions, or just come along to learn more about two burgeoning scholars and educators. This is a very relaxed and informal event–a perfect way to wind down the week and to stay in touch with your colleagues. See you there!
You’ve seen it everywhere else, but here it is again: TOMORROW is the launch party for our very own The Word Hoard‘s inaugural issue, “Community and Dissent.” You’ll want to be there. Sponsored by us! Here’s the info, as per its Facebook page:
Word Hoard is pleased to announce the printing of its inaugural issue, “Community and Dissent.” To celebrate the launch, Word Hoard editors along with the Graduate English Society cordially invite you to “Back and Forth and Forward” — an evening featuring guest speakers and dialogue between some of the current issue’s contributors. The launch party will take place on 12 October 2012, from 5:00-7:00 PM in Conron Hall, University College 224. A reception will follow the talks in UC 225.
The evening will include a guest talk by Dr. Bryce Traister (Chair, English), a dialogue between Mary Eileen Wennekers (English) and Matthew Halse (Theory), a discussion of the current call for papers for our next issue by Dr. Călin-Andrei Mihăilescu (Modern Languages and Literatures), and a word from the editors. Print copies of Word Hoard’s “Community and Dissent” will be available at the event for free or for a voluntary donation.