Reading is fundamental for any queen, and one northern university is making sure its students don't miss out. Edge Hill University in Ormskirk, just outside of Liverpool, will become the first higher education institution in the UK to offer students the chance to study the art of drag. According to the Liverpool Echo, the module will "consider a variety of topics including drag performance, costume, lipsyncing and the use of humour and is underpinned by wider theories and histories of sexuality, performativity, gay and lesbian theatre, transgender identities, drag, HIV/AIDS and activism".
"Despite the fact that performers have been 'dragging up' since Shakespearean times, this module is completely unique in exploring the crossing of boundaries in terms of gender and performance," senior lecturer Mark Edward told Pink News.
"As part of undergraduate studies, this module not only explores drag as a highly camp performance art, it also engages with complex gender, feminist and queer theory to explore the social and political implication of ‘doing gender’ in performance. Drag as a performance art form has seen a relative decline in the past decade, yet there are new and exciting emerging forms coming through which makes this module all the more relevant to performance contexts."
"There’s a lot more to drag studies than wigs, make-up and high heels!"
The module is available to third year students studying performance arts. Liverpool has one of the country's most vibrant LGBT scenes, as embodied by its totemic superclub Garlands and the Stanley Street Quarter.
Despite the thriving scene in the city, it's still a delightful surprise to find that the first university in the country to study drag is in a West Lancashire market town. Bravo. If Edge Hill lecturers are looking for a primary text, may we suggest Paris is Burning?