Call for papers

The show/business of drag: A drag market anthology

Deadline for submissions: 31 January 2022

Drag is a highly stylized art form including extravagant costumes, exaggerated make-up and entertaining drag personae performed traditionally in LGBTQ+ venues. In recent years, drag has ‘gone to the market’ and currently represents a multimillion-dollar industry, reaching beyond traditional queer audiences and venues to the mainstream of the entertainment industry and consumer markets. With its increased popularity, drag has evolved to become an international consumer pastime with drag queens and kings performing outside the context of LGBTQ+ spaces and currently featuring in national tours, concerts, a multiplicity of large-scale events and appearing regularly on TV (e.g. in commercials and movies).

As a performance, drag has the possibility to empower people who are marginalized within society on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, social class, religion, disability and physical appearance. Historically, countercultural communities have assembled around drag as an act of resistance in both gender and class. From the long socio-cultural history and visibility of drag in multiple geographies, it is unsurprising that the social sciences have extensively explored drag. Examples include sociological studies on the different styles of drag and the social organization of drag clubs and communities; gender studies on how drag queens and kings redefine and perform gender norms within society; mediated representations of drag, drag celebrity and the socio-economic statuses of drag queens between celebrity and marginality in anthropological and media studies, as well as the the signalling effect and the potential for upward mobility for LGBTQ+ individuals through drag within psychology.

However, studies examining drag as a product, brand, consumption and market remain scant. Chapters sought for this anthology should address, preferably in an interdisciplinary approach, the intersection of drag and markets and address the key omission of the market in current knowledge.

Key themes and illustrations

We welcome conceptual, empirical and methodological chapters that address themes such as (but not limited to) the following:

Market/ization focuses on the growth of markets and consumption of drag entertainment formats, venues, events, product lines, merchandising etc. The key questions relate to whether marketization of drag impacts positively on LGTBQ+ stigma, isolation and exclusion or if darker sides of marketization lead to appropriation, exploitation and discrimination.

Identity/Intersectionality unpacks drag at the intersection of gender, social class, race and sexual orientation, and the desire (and possibility) for upward mobility. Questions such as how performers and audiences negotiate who can ‘do drag’ are pertinent to this theme. Practices and Materiality considers the role of the material domain in drag as a visual artform. Transformation and gender illusion rely on the body, embodied skills and competencies (shared through tutorials), collective understandings (e.g. drag categories) and material resources. Influences of drag practices are visible in related markets like beauty and cosmetics.

Performance and Performativity discusses the performance of gender through drag and the various performative spaces open for the art. Here performances can contextualiseand historicise queer communities and subcultural experience. Performance also relates to interconnectedness of expression between various forms of art and culture.

Celebrity and Fandom relate to the dynamics between drag entertainers, their followers and particularly the mediation of the relationship online, the role of social media and rules of engagement. The impact of firestorms and toxic behaviours illustrate the negative aspects of drag celebrity culture.

Politics opens questions of the social and cultural impact that the increased visibility of drag affords. Can drag be a political force for a more inclusive and open society?

Submission procedure and key dates

This anthology is proposed to a well-known publishing house in the realm of Social Sciences who are supporting this call for papers.

Chapter proposals: A 1000-word summary of a proposed chapter (excluding references) should be emailed to by January 31, 2022. The proposal should describe the scope of the chapter, the relevant theoretical / empirical / methodological perspective taken, the discipline / disciplines whose work the chapter will draw upon and the state of the research at the time of proposal submission. The connection to the key themes as well as the goals of the chapter should be clear in the proposal. Proposals should represent new, unpublished work. Additionally, we ask the authors to submit a short biography (max. 100 words), including disciplinary background, research interests / focus, position and/or institutional affiliation as well as contact details.

Editorial feedback and invitations to submit: April 2, 2022. All authors will be notified regarding the acceptance of their proposal.

Chapter drafts due: November 1, 2022. The full chapter should be between 6000-8000 words and follow the publisher’s style guide communicated to the authors. We expect submitting authors to review for at least one other proposed chapter of the book.

Chapter draft reviews and editorial decisions: January 15, 2023

Chapter revisions: April 2, 2023

Publication: early 2024

Editor contact

For further information and questions, contact the editors at:

Mario Campana (University of Bristol, UK)
Katherine Duffy (University of Glasgow, UK)
Mikko Laamanen (emlyon business school, France)
Maria Rita Micheli (IESEG Paris, France)
Rohan Venkatraman (University of Melbourne, Australia)

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