I wonder what my old cultural studies lecturers are saying about Alejandro?


I want to initiate some audience participation. Give me your best cultural studies “lecture” on Lady Gaga and Alejandro in the comments below! An H1 will be awarded for the most cultural studies-ish rant.

Here’s what I came up with:

“Feminist reading this. Psychoanalysis Freudian abject body that. Lacanian “I”, subverting the dominant gaze. Queer aesthetic, inverted homoeroticism. Heteronormativity etc. History of cinema this, evolution of MTV that. Proto-Madonna, celebrity. Arbitrary question about what Gaga is “actually doing” that no one really cares to think about? In conclusion, postmodernism. Class dismissed.”


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6 Responses to “I wonder what my old cultural studies lecturers are saying about Alejandro?”

  1. Nick Says:

    Maybe the task should be to give a cultural-studies reading without having watched the video.

    Also, performativity.

  2. Dan Says:

    Not having watched the clip, I think I speak for all of us when I say the following:

    In Alejandro, Lady Gaga performs the temporal-gendered paradox of late capitalism, which posits a liminal/transitionary state between gender-queer nostalgia for an expired proto-Madonna phase and the forwards looking gaze towards a satire of the post-millennial raunch culture of celebrity. Gaga here suggests a strategy of the body that contrasts both Foucault’s biopolitics and Debord’s spectacle, simultaneously yearning for and illustrating a new discourse of the post-human anatomy. Alejandro is key for this new rhetoric of subversive/conformist power, as illustrated by its over-stylised, satirical tone – Gaga draws attention to her challenging aesthetic just as she seemingly reverts the popular gaze towards hetronormative ends. Clearly, what we can see both in the overarching narrative of the Gaga and the evolution of the over-stylised, proto-inverted abject biopower that now pervades so much of future-21st Century culture (exemplified by Alejandro) is a cultural intervention for a nuanced conception of celebrity power and the so-called low cultures.

    Did I do it right? If so, can I have my PhD now?

  3. Fiona Says:

    You guys are so smart and stuff! I’ve never done any cultural studies so I feel ill equipped to contribute, but I would like to say this: that video disturbs me greatly. Tim and I were talking about it the other day actually, after having watched it, and I was like “What does it all mean?! What’s with the weird fascist stuff and the orgy/rape?!” And Tim was all like “It has no meaning. It’s just meant to be controversial.” Hm. Perhaps I should have done cultural studies and then I’d be able to find the meaning I’m searching for? HA!

    In a side note, we heard it on the radio the other day and right after it had played and Lady Gaga had pronounced the name correctly about a million billion times, the radio announcer said “And that was Alejandro” in the most horrendous Australian accent you’ve ever heard. Most embarrassing.

  4. christinachurl Says:

    The gun-bra might be a good place to start your analysis, Fi.

  5. Dan Says:

    Tash found this – you should submit your piece, Christina!


  6. Nick Says:

    What a find! And I see the academic involved has a previously published paper called “Performing War”!

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