2011 Student Research Conference:
24th Annual Student Research Conference

Queering Tony Kushner: Angels in America as a Cultural Artifact
Christopher S. Steinauer
Dr. Linda Seidel, Faculty Mentor

Tony Kushner's Angels in America is revered for the strong gay characters and the uniquely queer situations in which the characters are placed. The play is also hailed as a social commentary on the Reagan administration and the (then emerging) "New Right." But while his play is deeply critical of the political right, the play itself can be critiqued through the lens of queer theory. A queer analysis of Kushner's play reveals that the author propels the story through his white male characters, including America's right-wing lawyers (secretly engaging in homosexual activity, which ultimately brings about their downfall). The play's minority characters act primarily as observers, having little effect on the story itself.

Keywords: queer theory, homosexuality, theatre

Women's and Gender Studies

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 23-2
Location: OP 2121
Time: 9:45

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