Karen Tongson - "Normporn" - Lauren Michele Jackson

Wednesday, November 8, 2023 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Karen Tongson

Karen Tongson will discuss Normporn: Queer Viewers and the TV That Soothes Us. She will be joined in conversation by Lauren Michele JacksonA Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.

This event will be held in person at The Seminary Co-op.


About the book: Revisiting soothing network dramedies like Parenthood, Gilmore Girls, This Is Us, and their late-80s precursor, thirtysomething, Normporn mines the nuanced pleasures and attraction-repulsion queer viewers experience watching liberal family-centric shows. Karen Tongson reflects on how queer cultural observers work through repeated declarations of a “new normal” and flash lifestyle trends like “normcore,” even as the absurdity, aberrance, and violence of our culture intensifies. Normporn allows us to process how the intimate traumas of everyday life depicted on certain TV shows—of love, life, death, and loss—are linked to the collective and historical traumas of their contemporary moments, from financial recessions and political crises to the pandemic.

About the author: Karen Tongson is the author of Why Karen Carpenter Matters (Pitchfork’s best music books of 2019), and Relocations: Queer Suburban ImaginariesIn 2019, she was awarded Lambda Literary’s Jeanne Córdova Prize for Lesbian/Queer Nonfiction. She is Chair of gender & sexuality studies, and Professor of gender & sexuality studies, English, and American studies & ethnicity at USC. She is also co-editor of the award-winning book series, Postmillennial Pop with Henry Jenkins at NYU Press, and cohost of the podcasts Waiting to X-Hale with Wynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh, and The Gaymazing Race with Nicole J. Georges. 

About the interlocutor: Lauren Michele Jackson is an assistant professor of English and Black Studies at Northwestern University and a contributing writer with The New Yorker. She is the author of White Negroes and the forthcoming Back.

Event Location: 
Seminary Co-Op Bookstore
5751 S Woodlawn Ave
Chicago, IL 60637