2011 Student Research Conference:
24th Annual Student Research Conference

Categories of Convenience: Michael Stipe, Identity, and Contemporary Media
James D. Megahan
Dr. Linda Seidel, Faculty Mentor

Michael Stipe, an American musician and the lead singer of R.E.M., is one of many contemporary celebrities whose sexual identity has been the subject of intense speculation. Stipe has generally eschewed any classification that attempts to specifically define his attractions and relationships, although in recent years he has claimed the label of "queer artist." Utilizing Judith Butler's theory of identity categorization as outlined in her essay "Imitation and Gender Insubordination," this paper analyzes not only interviews in which Stipe discusses his sexual identity, but also subsequent media coverage that seemingly misrepresents his choice of labels.

Keywords: Michael Stipe, identity categories, media

Topic(s):Women's and Gender Studies

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 26-3
Location: VH 1324
Time: 1:45

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