Thomas Brassington


Twitter: @TomWBrass


Previous Education

2016 – Distinction in MA English Literature Studies at Lancaster University

2015 – 2.1 in BA (Hons) English Literature at Lancaster University


Thesis Title

Gothic/Drag: Exploring the Textuality of Queer Performance



Prof Catherine Spooner & Dr Debra Ferreday


Research Summary

My thesis performs a thematic analysis of the intersections between the Gothic mode and drag performance. I argue that the two are complementary processes that articulate distinct aspects of their separate styles, and when brought into contact produce an array of new meanings. I explore this by considering specific Gothic figures (Frankenstein’s Monster, the Bride of Frankenstein, Vampires, Witches, Demons, Nuns, Monks, Horror Hostesses, Monstrous Mothers and so on), how they are produced in the context of a drag show, and what meanings this produces there. Doing so allows me to argue that drag functions as a system for writing back to homophobic discourses in a way that produces a more hopeful queer narrative.


Research Interests

Gothic studies, Contemporary Gothic, Horror cinema, Queer studies, Queer (sub)culture, Drag, Popular culture, Fashion, Costume, Camp, Gender, Sexuality, Cultural studies, Postcolonialism, Videogame studies



To be found on:



‘Camp Gothic: Exploring Camp Politics in Gothic Drag Performance’, Gothic Hyrbidities: Interdisciplinary, Multimodal and Transhistorical Approaches, International Gothic Association (Manchester Metropolitan University, 2018)

‘You Know What I Need? Some Heels Without Guns: Reading Bayonetta as Queer Happy Gothic’, Gaming the Gothic (Sheffield University, April 2018)

‘Filth are My Politics: The Bodily Grotesque and Drag’, Contemporary Gothic Postgraduate Study Day (Lancaster University, 2017)

‘Glamour, Horror, Filth: Drag and the Gothic in the Boulet Brothers’ Dragula: Search for the World’s First Drag Supermonster’, Performing Fantastika (Lancaster University, April 2017)

‘Using Massa’s Tools: Female Shapeshifting and the Decolonisation of Fantasy’, Global Fantastika (Lancaster University, July 2016)

‘Playing in the Orient: Discussing Ubisoft’s Far Cry 3 in Relation to Orientalist Discourse’, PlayMeAStory: Videogames as Narrative Symposium (Lancaster University, June 2016)

‘Show Generosity to These Monstrosities: Investigating the Gothic Dimensions of Drag in the Performance of Sharon Needles and Acid Betty’, Contemporary Gothic Postgraduate Study Day (Lancaster University, 2016)

‘Inheriting Traditions: Hero Construction and Landscape in the Oddworld and Skyrim Video Games’, Locating Fantastika (Lancaster University, July 2015)

Podcast: Hayley Campbell, ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race and Beyond’, Unpopped. (February 2018).

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