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18. Judith A. Peraino, Music

Judith Peraino
Peraino Book

Judith Peraino

Listening to the Sirens: Musical Technologies of Queer Identity from Homer to Hedwig (University of California Press, 2006). Using a theoretical framework based on French philosopher Michel Foucault and extensive historical material, Peraino explores how music has been deployed throughout history to question norms of gender and sexuality. She begins with mythology—the sirens’ seduction of Ulysses with their music—and continues with analysis of musical creatures, gods, and humans associated with behavior that breeches social convention. From ancient Greece to the Middle Ages to the contemporary period, the book examines the musical ways in which queer individuals express and discipline their desire, represent themselves, build communities, and subvert heterosexual expectations. Peraino covers medieval songs; works by Handel, Tchaikovsky, and Britten; performers such as Judy Garland, Melissa Etheridge, Madonna, and Marilyn Manson; women’s music and disco; and the movies The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

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