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Richard T. Rodríguez

Richard T. Rodríguez is Associate Professor of English and Latina/Latino Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he is also affiliated with the Department of Gender and Women's Studies and the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory. The author of Next of Kin: The Family in Chicano/a Cultural Politics and many articles and reviews, he is currently writing a book on Latino male sexualities in film and literature.

“‘Red Over White’: Siouxsie’s Disidentifications”
This talk examines the enduring attempts by Siouxsie Sioux (and Siouxsie and the Banshees more broadly) over the course of their career to negate genre categorization through their embrace of a counter-counter-establishment politics. While the band got their start at the historic punk festival organized by Malcolm McLaren at SoHo’s 100 Club, Siouxsie and the Banshees would soon thereafter call attention to the temporal limits of what become readily discernable as “punk.” By assigning an expiration date for punk (particularly in the UK), the Banshees’ disavowal of what would eventually be revealed as a market-driven performance from which they sought distance (despite their emergence from a markedly distinct punk trajectory) helped disassociate their music and overall style from a largely white and male aesthetic that would ultimately lead to their embrace of non-Western musical forms and themes in albums like A Kiss in the Dream House and Hyaena.

“The Racial Publics of Siouxsie Sioux”
Since emerging from the London punk scene of the mid-1970s, Siouxsie Sioux’s iconic wail has crawled through the dark hallways and corners of myriad countercultures. Moving from punk to post-punk, or goth to pop, Sioux reigns supreme over an audience of misfits that reach from the disaffected youth of her suburban, south-east London childhood to Latino fan culture in contemporary Los Angeles. This panel offers a series of critical meditations on the work of Siouxsie Sioux, focusing in particular on Siouxsie’s voice as it resonates throughout a host of minoritarian lifeworlds. The panelists—drawn from a range of fields that include performance studies, Asian American studies, Latino/a studies, and critical ethnic studies—offer a series of meditation inflected by queer of color critique and woman of color feminism in order to explore the racial publics of Siouxsie Sioux. That is, the panel theorizes the interanimation between Siouxsie Sioux’s work and minoritarian cultural practices. Chambers-Letson suggests that we might hear the sound of a communism of incommensurability as it emerges from the intersection of punk and Blackness in the appropriation of Siouxsie’s voice by contemporary acts The Weeknd and Santigold. Lee articulates Siouxsie’s voice as a critical site for rethinking the relationship between white women and white femininity and the aesthetic traditions of Orientalism and modernist primitivism. Ramos explores how Siouxsie’s voice offers queer and feminist Latino/a listeners a mode of being together rooted in non-productivity and friendship. Finally, Rodriguez offers a meditation on the temporal limits of punk, exploring Siouxsie and the Banshee’s disavowal of the constraints of identification and, by extension, identity. This panel will thus explore Sioux’s voice as it resonates within and across the black and brown undercommons.


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