The queering relief of the humor in the new burlesque




burlesque, queer, humor, gender


According to Peter L. Berger, in turn inspired by Eugène Ionesco, the most significant moment of the comic lies in the “magical transformation of reality” (Berger 1997: 182). Also for Jacques Rancière (2004), humor is the “art of distance,” and, especially in the “aesthetic distance” (2010), he sees the condition of the effectiveness of the art and its political impact. Particularly in times of political right-wing backlash is such a transformation of reality and distance through humor a possibility to create a safe space, where social heteronormativity and the gravity of national-religious scripts can be relieved, for the time being, through a queer carnivalesque spectacle in the art of new burlesque. This article thus follows the plea of Jack Halberstam (2011), who calls for research into the “silly archives,” supposedly the banal, and foolish of the queer art of failure, which can reveal social power structures, myths, and “truths,” and analyze the humorous effectiveness and the myth-shredding power of the new burlesque using selected shows in Warsaw and New Orleans as examples.




How to Cite

Staśkiewicz, J. (2021). The queering relief of the humor in the new burlesque. Whatever. A Transdisciplinary Journal of Queer Theories and Studies, 4(1), 187–218.