Cut-offs and Cottagecore Mean Girls: Queer-Gender Performance in American Old-Time Music

Micah J. Ling (Indiana University)

The visual aesthetics of the American old-time music scene are rooted in connections to place, rurality, historical imagination, and an expectation of gendered dress that aligns with the assumed gender of the performer. For queer performers of this music, the navigation of this paradigm generates opportunities for subtle or overt subversion–the winks and nods of exchanged double-coded messages. The musical competence of each musician as acknowledged within the community allows for a more comfortable expansion of their own gender play. This paper draws out the material aesthetics of an established musical scene through the lens of its queer performers.

Part of 03-08 Calico, Crocs, and Corsets: A Survey of Queer Visibility in American Material Culture, Thursday, November 02, 2:30 pm–4:30 pm