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Fashionable Queens

Body – Power – Gender

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Edited By Eva Flicker and Monika Seidl

The essays collected in this book provide profound insights into the wide-ranging topic of the fashionable queen: the manifold implications and effects that the combination of body, power and gender can have are examined by using different approaches and a variety of theoretical frameworks. By addressing queenly appearances in the past and the present, in politics and the media, in royalty and the middle-classes, in the arts and in popular culture, this book offers a new way of thinking of publically significant women, who exert, and at the same time subvert, their power through their attires and thereby negotiate notions of gender, class, power and media representation.
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Like a Queen: Madonna & the Stage as Court: Adam Louis Troldahl

The Queen of Pop

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Like a Queen: Madonna & the Stage as Court

Adam Louis Troldahl

Abstract

This chapter traces the development of queen imagery in Madonna’s star image, focusing primarily on her stagecraft over the last decade, including the Drowned World, Confessions, Re-Invention, Sticky & Sweet, and MDNA World Tours. Its primarily semiotic reading presumes Madonna as a practitioner of pastiche, often self-referential, and evaluates her self-fashioning as a queen using Kantorowicz’s Two Bodies’ theory. It argues that her stage productions have developed a type of body politic akin to that of a historical monarch, which in turn promotes and defends Madonna even in the absence of her body natural. Subsequently, guided by Baudrillard’s Simulation and Simulacra treatise, it then proposes that Madonna’s body natural and associated body politic conspire to create (for her fans) a type of aura that, together with the structure and thematics of her stage productions, approaches a type of post-modern religious experience.

Large hand-held feathered fans, propped up by local volunteers, pull back, unfolding to the clearly enunciated, almost breathy rap-like pacing of the question, “What are you looking at?” It echoes in the hollow bowl of Lucas Oil Stadium, both an invitation as well as an admonishment. What we as television viewers are looking at is Madonna, and the question, as always, announces the song Vogue. Gone, however, is the Old-Hollywood glamour associated with the song’s 1991 music video and underscored by the song’s rap-chant, in which Madonna recounts...

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