Friday, July 3, 2009


To all of my readers, and I know there are still some out there even though it seems I have fallen off the face of the blogsphere. I assure you, I am here reading Shakesville everyday!

I am very nearly done with graduate school! I finished all of my coursework and even walked in the graduation ceremony. Now I just have to finish that pesky thesis.

So for anyone interested, I am going to post some of my research questions. I'd LOVE to know what people think. My defense is going to be August 12 or 13. After that, you can expect a lot more posts! I promise.

In my research, I pose the question of whether Cobain can be considered a queer subject. In what ways did he perform masculinity and whiteness and why did he portray that particular celebrity image? Did critics and fans understand him to be challenging hegemonic gender norms? How did Cobain’s bodily subjectivity inform his art? Was Cobain’s celebrity a form of resistance and if so how?

Much of the critical work on Cobain’s oeuvre is framed in terms of his authenticity. What is meant by ‘authenticity’ in this context and why are music critics so concerned with this concept? Is Cobain’s music ‘authentic?’ Is this a useful way of understanding his life and work? What is the primary narrative surrounding Kurt Cobain’s life and work and why is that the dominant discourse? Who authors this narrative and what stakes do they have in maintaining a particular image of Cobain?

Finally, I think that it is important to consider Cobain’s feminist attitudes, his interrogation of hegemonic gender, whether he ought even to be considered a feminist under certain theoretical traditions. This question has not been asked in much of the academic and critical work on Kurt Cobain’s celebrity.

So that is what I have been doing.