This creative, critical piece uses wild theory to address camp and camp scholarship for its lackluster attention to issues of race, embodied experience, and appropriation as it imagines a universal monolithic gay identity that erases cultural differences culled from race and gender. I provide close readings of black cult figures and texts that I argue combine camp and chitlin circuit elements (the Harlem Globetrotters, Cheech and Chong’s “Basketball Jones,” Gilbert Moses’s The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh). In exploring the existence of campy sports culture, queer athleticism, and queer sports spectacle, I propose that a different genealogy located in the chitlin circuit and barnstorming would recognize performances, style, and aesthetics as escape from racialized gender and style and would provide gender anarchy and sexual fluidity in ways that camp cannot.
L. H. Stallings; Chitlins Make You Funky: Black Basketball in the Wild and Queer Sports Spectacle. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 July 2018; 117 (3): 507–525. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-6942117
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