The collection is divided into four parts:
queer thoughts, mixed media.
Queering the Popular Pitch will appeal to students of popular music, Gay and Lesbian studies. With case studies and essays by leading popular music scholars it provides insightful discourse in a growing field of musicological research.
Heavy metal scholarship has until recently focused almost solely on the roles of heterosexual hypermasculinity and hyperfemininity in fans and performers. The dependence on that narrow dichotomy has limited heavy metal scholarship, resulting in poorly critiqued discussions of gender and sexuality that serve only to underpin the popular imagining of heavy metal as violent, homophobic and inherently masculine. This book queers heavy metal studies, bringing discussions of gender and sexuality in heavy metal out of that poorly theorized dichotomy.
In this interdisciplinary work, the author connects new and existing scholarship with a strong ethnographic study of heavy metal’s self-identified queer performers and fans in their own words, thus giving them a voice and offering an original and ground-breaking addition to scholarship on popular music, rock, and queer studies.
Oh Boy! Masculinities and Popular Music is the first serious study of how forms of masculinity are negotiated, constructed, represented and addressed across a range of popular music texts and practices. Written by a group of internationally recognized popular music scholars—including Sheila Whiteley, Richard Middleton, and Judith Halberstam—these essays study the concept of masculinity in performance and appearance, and how both male and female artists have engaged with notions of masculinity in popular music.
Whiteley begins by investigating the exploitation of child stars such as Brenda Lee and Michael Jackson, offering a psychoanalytic reading of the relationship between child star and oppressive manager, and looks at the current glut of boy- and girl- bands and stars in the mold of Britney Spears to examine the continuing fatal attraction of stardom for adolescents.
Whiteley then considers the star images of female singer-songwriters Kate Bush, Tori Amos, and Bjork, whose 'little girl' voices and characterization by the media suggests a girlish feminitity which is often at odds with the intentions of their musical output. She then moves on to explore the rock/pop divide as it affects the image of male performers, considering why male stars usually fall into the category of 'wild boys' such as Kurt Cobain or Jim Morrison, or 'nice boys', like Cliff Richard, The Monkees, and Wham!
Whiteley ends by asking what happens to stars who set so much store by manipulations of youthfulness when they begin to age, and points to stars like Robbie Williams, Kylie Minogue and Cher to demonstrate that it is possible to achieve iconic pop status even without dying young.