Performance Studies Alum Lynn Sally (Ph.D. ’04) has a new book, Neo-Burlesque Striptease as Transformation, that came out on October 27, 2021.
The neo-burlesque movement seeks to restore a sense of glamour, theatricality, and humor to striptease. Neo-burlesque performers strut their stuff in front of audiences that appreciate their playful brand of pro-sex, often gender-bending, feminism.
Performance studies scholar and acclaimed burlesque artist Lynn Sally offers an inside look at the history, culture, and philosophy of New York’s neo-burlesque scene. Revealing how twenty-first century neo-burlesque is in constant dialogue with the classic burlesque of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, she considers how today’s performers use camp to comment on preconceived notions of femininity. She also explores how the striptease performer directs the audience’s gaze, putting on layers of meaning while taking off layers of clothing.
Through detailed profiles of iconic neo-burlesque performers such as Dita Von Teese, Dirty Martini, Julie Atlas Muz, and World Famous *BOB*, this book makes the case for understanding neo-burlesque as a new sexual revolution. Yet it also examines the broader community of “Pro-Am” performers who use neo-burlesque as a liberating vehicle for self-expression. Raising important questions about what feminism looks like, Neo-Burlesque celebrates a revolutionary performing art and participatory culture whose acts have political reverberations, both onstage and off.