Working within and beyond performance studies and theories, this roundtable highlights scholarship and community practices committed to feminist and queer critiques. Sex Salon has gathered a group of graduate students whose work spans across the practices and spaces of burlesque, drag, improv, & nightlife. Each speaker will share their specific research projects while also reflecting on how they arrived and continue to navigate performance studies as both scholars and practitioners. Followed by a moderated discussion and Q&A, this discussion will illuminate the expansive and generative work within performance studies and performance spaces.
Keira is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies in collaboration with the Women and Gender Studies Institute. Her SSHRC funded research, Innovating and Incorporating Improv in Canada and the US, examines the relationship between racial capitalism and improvisation. Keira is currently a research assistant for Flourish: Community-Engaged Arts. She is committed to anti-racist praxes and going slowly.
Julia Matias (she/her) is a PhD candidate working on a collaborative degree with the Centre for Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies, and the Women and Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on how neo-burlesque performers utilize citation as a dialectical tool of critical analysis, to explore how these practices relate to larger histories of feminist performance, racial objectification, and care. She is also an award-winning performer operating under the stage name “Força”.
Ryan Persadie is an artist, educator, and writer based in Toronto, Canada. Currently, he is a doctoral candidate in Women and Gender Studies and Sexual Diversity Studies and Senior Doctoral Fellow in Caribbean Studies at the University of Toronto. His aesthetic and scholarly work investigates queer Caribbean diasporas, transnational feminisms and sexualities, performance, and Afro-Asian intimacies. His current doctoral project specifically explores how Anglophone Caribbean music, dance, vocality, and embodiment offer salient archives to pursue critical pedagogies and practices of erotic place- and self-making within queer Indo-Caribbean diasporas.
Samuel Yoon (He/Him) is a doctoral candidate in Women and Gender Studies and Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto. His doctoral research is a study of violence in contemporary Asia/America. His project is specifically interested in how queer performance is a key site to reckon with the conditions that produce premature death. Beyond his graduate studies, Sam has been a long time dancer and in his spare time is a participant and performer in queer nightlife.