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Sean F. Edgecomb
Position: Associate Professor
Campus Affiliation: College of Staten Island
Phone: 212-817-8878
Room Number: 3111.05
Office Hours:
Degrees/Diplomas: Ph.D. in Drama, Tufts University
Publications include: Charles Ludlam Lives!: Charles Busch, Bradford Louryk, Taylor Mac and the Queer Legacy of the Ridiculous Theatrical Company (University of Michigan Press, 2017), which traces the intersections between playwright, actor and essayist Charles Ludlam and three contemporary Neo-Ridiculous performance artists, introducing queer models such as kinetic kinship, lateral historiography and a new approach to camp. Combining historical/archival research, ethnography and queer theory, the monograph demonstrates that the queer legacy of Ludlam is one of distinct queer transformation—where artists may reject faithful interpretations in order to move in new interpretive directions. His next two books are also under contract with University of Michigan Press—the first, A Queer Bestiary: Ritual Anthropomorphism and Animal Symbolism in Contemporary LGBTQ+ Performance, considers contemporary queer performance artists who include rituals of anthropomorphism and/or animal symbolism in their work. It maps where and how queerness as a “doing” intersects global cultures through kinetic channels of symbolism, linguistics and performance. The second, The (Taylor) Mac Book is a collection, co-edited with David Román, that considers the complete works of Taylor Mac from a range of contemporary scholars, artists and collaborators. Recent peer-reviewed journal articles include “Queer Rurality and the Closet Door Ajar on the Contemporary American Stage,” in Theatre Journal (March 2021) and “Between the Wood and the World: Ludwig II of Bavaria’s Queer Swans,” in Theatre Survey (May 2018). Other essays have appeared in PAJ, Contemporary Theatre Review, Popular Entertainment Studies, The Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide and Bright Lights Film Journal. Recent book chapters include “Sites of Queer Be/coming: The Ridiculous Theatrical Company and Split Britches,” co-authored with Ben Gillespie in Analysing Gender in Performance (Palgrave Macmillan Springer, forthcoming), “Queer Politics/Nostalgia: Performing the UpStairs Lounge Theatre Fire of 1971” in The Routledge Companion to Theatre and Politics (2019) and “Architecting Queer Space: Charles Ludlam’s Bluebeard in the West Village” in Readings in Cultural Performance (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). His current research and teaching interests include queer theatre and performance, queer theory, LGBTQIA+ history and historiography, queer urban and rural studies, downtown culture and kinship, animal studies, trans* studies, adaptations of classical texts, global queerness and queer migration, American studies and continuing the legacy of Jose Estéban Muñoz. Edgecomb also creates original queer, fine folk art under the pseudonym “Peter Kunt” as an extension of his scholarly/performance work. The original compositions strive to force a material confrontation between the notion of past and present, queerly disrupting patriarchal concepts of American history as linear, progressive and/or a factual record. Recent exhibition as Peter Kunt include Canvas Pink and Van Der Plas Gallery, NYC (www.peterkunt.com).