Erotic Resistance Book Launch and Celebration

Thu March 14, 2024
Event Sponsor
Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity
Department of Theater & Performance Studies
Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Stanford Living Education
Roble Gym
375 Santa Teresa Street, Stanford, CA 94305
Roble Lounge and Courtyard

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Join author Gigi Otálvaro-Hormillosa and friends to celebrate the launch of her book, Erotic Resistance: The Struggle for the Soul of San Francisco (University of California Press, February 2024), at the Department of Theater and Performance Studies (Roble Lounge and the Courtyard).

Enjoy celebratory remarks, refreshments, and light snacks. 

Books will be available for purchase from the Stanford Bookstore.

Based on Otálvaro-Hormillosa's dissertation completed in 2018 at Stanford, Erotic Resistance celebrates the erotic performance cultures that have shaped San Francisco. It preserves the memory of the city's bohemian past and its essential role in the development of American adult entertainment by highlighting the contributions of women of color, queer women, and trans women who were instrumental in the city's labor history, as well as its LGBT and sex workers' rights movements. In the 1960s, topless entertainment became legal in the city for the first time in the US, though cross-dressing continued to be criminalized. In the 1990s, stripper-artist-activists led the first successful class action lawsuits and efforts to unionize. Otálvaro-Hormillosa uses visual and performance analysis, historiography, and ethnographic research, including participant observation as both performer and spectator and interviews with legendary burlesquers and strippers, to share this remarkable story. 

"With heart, flesh, and soul, this excellent book is committed to women of color, queer women, cis women, and trans women who wield a powerful erotic resistance through sexual performance. Along with rich engagements with critical performance and visual theory, we are treated to excellent storytelling, an innovative queer herstoriography, a kick-ass feminist porn archive, and the author herself as flexibly scholar, artist, and 'alchemized gendered being.' A feminist ethno-pornography and porno-ethnography, Erotic Resistance carefully engages with those who exploit and repurpose the performativity of heterosexuality as a tool for resilience, creative resistance, and financial gain. Here you will meet legendary burlesquers, strippers, artists, and activists working in the sex industry who intersect practices of performance, art, and activism to offer deeply sensual and explicitly scholarly innovation."

—Rebecca Schneider, author of Performing Remains: Art and War in Times of Theatrical Reenactment

"Erotic Resistance narrates the recent history and ongoing reorganization of San Francisco through its strippers, through precarious dance workers who revitalize their clients' lives (and the city) with their bodies, affects, and souls. Simultaneously a brilliant work of urban history, a deep analysis of visual and filmic archives, and a rigorous performance ethnography, Erotic Resistance foregrounds the names, voices, and actions of strippers as theorists, as careful thinkers who parse through the imbrication of labor, urban politics, gender, sexuality, race, and selfhood. All the while, Otálvaro-Hormillosa serves as an expert guide and curator who prevents readers from feeling like unwanted voyeurs; instead she interpellates us as valuable witnesses to San Francisco's changing sexual geographies."

—Kareen Khubchandani, author of Decolonize Drag

For more reviews and purchasing information, visit the book's web page on University of California Press' site. To pre-order, visit Amazon

Gigi Otálvaro-Hormillosa, PhD, is an artist-scholar who teaches and writes about art and activism, queer of color critique, erotic performance, and the intersections of mindfulness and creative practice. She holds a doctorate in Theater and Performance Studies from Stanford University, where she currently leads the LifeWorks Program for Integrative Learning.

For more information: gigio [at] (gigio[at]stanford[dot]edu)

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