Methodology for Mapping Project

In this post, I will describe the process of bringing tweets from over the past year into a single heat map with interactive (clickable) tweets displaying more information. Most importantly perhaps, in what follows I will also readily discuss the flaws and problems of the methodology, in order to hopefully gain some insights into how to change the methodology to make this part of my project more interesting.

1. TAGS

TAGS is described by its creator Martin Hawksey as “a free Google Sheet template which lets you setup and run automated collection of search results from Twitter.” It really is a script written in JavaScript for collecting tweets. The script is requesting the latest tweets, every hour, from the Twitter REST API. I used it to collect the tweets over a year mentioning the search terms:

  • boylesque
  • male strip1
  • male striptease1
  • male stripclub1
  • Male Erotic Dancing1
  • male revue1
  • #malestriptease1

All of those tweets were collected in (two separate) Google Docs spreadsheets. As of October 28, I have collected 22,683 tweets (9,511 + 13,172).

Note: some bugs in the script creates some double entries of the same tweets into the spreadsheet. They’re easy to identify as every tweet has an ID assigned from Twitter, which makes it easy to sort them out. More about that below.

Note: Some tweets overlap with Instagram posts but I haven’t implemented any other APIs at this point, on top of the Twitter API, which means that there will be some overlap in the future, should I choose to implement the Instagram API, for instance.

2. Export the tweets, import and mapping onto a mysql database

The tweet spreadsheet was exported as a .csv file into a MySQL database, set up by myself on servers hosted by Dreamhost. I chose Dreamhost as they allow for remote access, so I could use a desktop client to administer the databases.

Note: Step 1 and 2 could be combined into one, if I wrote my own cron script that would run every hour requesting the same information as TAGS. I chose to use Hawksey’s TAGS because of the expedience in setting it up. Rather than having to program the code myself, the script is already set up and ready to go in a Google Doc.

Note: I could have used phpMyAdmin to administer the database but prefer to use a desktop client as it’s faster to handle.

3. Clean up some of the data

I was in need to removing some duplicate data that existed, because of some programming error in Hawksey’s script, in my own data. I set up the MySQL database with a UNIQUE key for the tweet ID column, which means that the import feature of MySQL will automatically disregard any duplicate values for any entries. (Note: it doesn’t actually disregard but produce an error; in this case, however, the error is in fact desired.)

In this step, I also made sure to do some manual cleanup of the data that was necessary by going over the ~8,000 unique tweets I ended up with after the procedure with the UNIQUE key to see if any tweets were unintentionally cut off, or containing characters that were encoded in a different format, for instance. (Note: I made sure that both the CSV file and the database were UTF-16 encoded to be able to include a few tweets written in Japanese, Arabic, Hebrew, etc.)

Note: Hawksey’s script contains an option to wipe duplicate entries but that didn’t work so I needed a solution for this.

4. Pull user data from the database of tweets

One of the columns in my data contained the user ID for the tweeter behind the tweet. I wrote a PHP script to pull the unique user IDs, and then their respective affiliated tweet IDs from the MySQL database, and add these to a separate table to reduce the amount of queries necessary in step 5 below.

5. Request the user info from the Twitter API

For each of the unique user IDs, I submit 100 requests at a time to the Twitter API, since I am interested in pulling the location for the user who has tweeted

Note: this is a step I actually have had to do manually as of now because I haven’t written a cron script to perform this part of the process, since there needs to be some time in between the requests to the Twitter REST API.

Note: This step is where the ethical and the methodological aspects of my method become somewhat questionable, which I’d like to address here:

  • Ethically because there is no consent from the users to become part of my database or to share this information with me specifically. Yet, one might argue that they have agreed to the terms of use of Twitter which stipulates that this information is public. A counterargument could be that my database freezes in time user information that otherwise can change from being public to being private at any point in time. I could attempt to anonymize the data to the point where I create one map for the location of the tweeters, which is not interactive — that is, that does not show the location, username, and text of the tweet itself.
  • Methodologically, here’s a related problem as well: There’s not really any way to anonymize data that’s publicly available. You can easily search for the text quoted, for instance. (This becomes a problem in studies such as Kim Price-Glynn’s where she doesn’t want to write the real name of the strip bar where she does her studies; yet, in her last chapter she analyzes and quotes online conversations about the club, which makes it easy for someone to search the web, or archive.org, for the literal quotes, and find the name of the bar that way.)
  • Methodologically as well, it is problematic because it doesn’t indeed show the location of the tweet, per se, but rather the (self-professed) location of the user. That means that there will be many users layered on top of each other in a location such as New York, and few in New Orleans, despite the fact that many New Yorkers are indeed tweeting from New Orleans while traveling. (That is, the method doesn’t capture tweets from other locations than the user’s professed “home base.”) Moreover, some users have multiple locations on their accounts: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans, for example. The method has no way, currently, of mapping such accounts. On the prototype, I have used the first city mentioned, while acknowledging that this is a flaw.

6. Pull all unique locations from user information

From all of the users locations, I have written a PHP script to, once again, pull all the locations into a list of unique locations, mapped onto a location ID (which will prove necessary in the step creating relationships between the database tables).

6. Manual clean-up of the locations

In an attempt at creating a consolidated list of locations, I needed to manually clean up misspellings (since this is information a user types in, New York can be spelled in a number of ways) or abbreviations of city names (change NYC and at times NY to New York).

Note: I haven’t figured out a way to do this automatically yet. Theoretically, I could write a script that would pull from a list of the occurrences of corrections that I’d like to do and perform them automatically but the list would still have to be managed manually.

7. Geolocate each of the locations

Batch geocoding of all the locations is done through the free and open Batch Geocoding website.

Note: There should be other ways of performing this step but I haven’t figured that out yet. I might use Google’s geocoding API. The problem with their API (and many others) is that it’s limited to 2,500 requests per day. I may need to apply for research funds for this part of the project.

8. Assign weights to locations

The locations are not very precise, which means that lots of tweets will be layered on top of each other. One way to deal with this for now is to assign weights to each location, in order to create a heatmap for the respective tweets.

Problem here: that means that the interactive aspect of the map is lost. I don’t believe CartoDB has a way to solve this yet which means that to maintain the interactive aspect of the map, I might need to migrate from the CartoDB platform.

9. Create relationships between all the tables in the database

10. Export the data to CartoDB

11. Creating the maps in CartoDB

A note on collaboration

As a goal in the project, I want to offer my package back to the community of DH scholars, by making all of it available via GitHub. This would probably entail the need for more research funding, unfortunately, as I will need to make my scripts a little less specific to my own research. The Graduate Center, CUNY offers Digital Fellowships which may cover this part of the project in the near future.

Notes

1 Since July 17 — before then, the project was going to focus explicitly and only on boylesque as a genre.

A Digital (N)Ethnographic Journey through the Roots and Routes of Boylesque

Note: This blog post is cross-posted with the ASTR Digital Methods Working Group. Feel free to provide comments here, however, as I will answer them here too!

Self-identified male bodies in burlesque has a history that goes further back than is normally considered in accounts of burlesque history and are an under-theorized absence in nearly all accounts of burlesque within Theatre and Performance Studies. More general studies of striptease, as well, do not normally focus on male bodies with a few notable exceptions.1 In my dissertation, I look to boylesque, a fairly new genre still growing out of, or intricately mixed with, the neo-burlesque movement, where male-identified bodies of different sexes perform in creatively constructed striptease routines. I address the history and political aspects of boylesque, both as genre and term in relation to the larger history and context of male striptease in New York, the US, and globally.

In an early part of the dissertation, “Heteroflexible Bodies,” I will look at norms around and conceptions of male striptease in mainstream culture, through both films representing male strippers and their adaptations. I focus on the establishment and perpetuation of such norms through marketing and performances, originally by Chippendales and, starting in the 1980s, their many competitors: American Storm, Australia’s Thunder from Down Under, Men of Sapphire, Men of X, La Bare, International Men of Steel, Olympic Gardens, and Hollywood Men. I argue that the establishment of these norms took place through the forced assumption of female audiences by a more or less explicit ban on male audiences, and that these performers are what I call “heteroflexible,”seemingly giving up power by objectifying the male body, but still assuming a position of power, in relation to their female audiences that maintains the male gaze as a governing structure.

The examples in the first part are contrasted by another part of the dissertation that traces a history of male striptease dancers, primarily in the Times Square area, gearing their acts to marginal audiences, performing different forms of objectification and more flexible ideals of masculinity. One historical example in this part concerns male strippers in the late 1920s and early 1930s burlesque theatres who performed in semi-drag in theatres along 42nd Street. Another example will come from interviews with dancers from gay striptease theatres of Times Square and their conception of the construction of masculinity. Should their performances be considered an extension of the norms established by Chippendales and their imitators.Were they perpetuating the same “heteroflexible” ideals—but in relation to the queer audiences in those theatres?2 Considering the Chippendales’ ban of potentially gay audiences, can we say that these theatres offered anything different in terms of their performances, solely based on the assumed audience?

A third part of the dissertation brings us to boylesque and the examples of contemporary boylesque performers who engage playfully with femininity and masculinity, rejecting the heteroflexible objectification of the male body, and challenges the norms elaborated in the previous two parts.The playfulness of their acts, and their awareness of the gender politics of their acts, becomes especially challenging to the normative ideals of male striptease, I argue, because the performers are tightly knit together in what I call the “boylesque circuit.” I am currently working with the thesis that boylesque is organized in a more transient movement pattern across the United States, and potentially beyond its borders,compared to male striptease culture generally.3 This might have to do with the fact that boylesque as a genre is a product of a new media culture, relying for marketing as well as organization, on online spaces and interactions through digital media, which makes it easy to organize performances in spaces and for audiences that might not have known about the performances otherwise.4

These three parts—the dissertation’s “chapters”—will come together in a born-digital, non-linear dissertation constructed through the open-source platform Scalar, which allows me to integrate video-recorded interviews, maps, timelines, and other media into the more traditional text of my study—but also for my informants themselves, to annotate and comment on the material itself. As hopefully becomes clear, I am interested in using technology to develop new methods to engage with the historical and contemporary subjects of my dissertation in ways that can involve them in the longer process of both participating in as well as creating a research project. The technology can also make the project accessible to audiences outside the traditional boundaries of academia. In all, the dissertation project is developed in and with the public, and thus situated in the intersection of Public and Digital Humanities.

In this way, I am interested in “challenging the traditional humanist ethos of solitary thought,” as our Working Group’s Call for Papers suggests that DH can do. But I am also interested in challenging some potentially prevailing normativity within the field of DH itself: the male gaze is often thwarted here, as we are looking at bodies that have been marginalized—as non-female or non-normative in terms of their genders and sexualities—through both the historiography of the genre itself (regardless if we discuss striptease or burlesque) as well as the manifold ethnographies written on striptease dancers.

The Map

The use of the term (n)ethnographic research in the title of my paper is meant to signal my first attempts at entering into this dissertation project outlined above.In order to begin my investigation of the employment of the term boylesque and its relation to other forms of male striptease, I have attempted to map the physical as well as the conceptual relation between the different terms and forms. For the past year, I have scraped Twitter for conversations around boylesque, and more recently male striptease generally.5

My goal is to create a topic model of the Twitter discussions over the past year, in order to figure out what is being spoken about and where in audience and performer groups respectively. This would ideally govern the formulation of my initial research questions for the dissertation project at large. The project is still a work in progress and I am currently working on a method to map the Twitter conversations into a MySQL database, by scraping the social network (using TAGS), geotagging the individual tweets (through a complex method which I will be happy to talk more about or write another blog post about), and mapping them in CartoDB. The next step will be to visualize not only the physical location of the tweets but also the relationship to certain topics.

The method I have developed poses a number of problems at almost every point of data collection, which I am happy to talk more about in the comments to this post or when we meet in Portland.

In a future version of the map, I hope to be able to create a separation between the different categories of tweets so that I will be able to select whether the CartoDB interface shows tweets mentioning boylesque or tweets mentioning the male striptease collection of search words. I am speculating that there might be a difference between the two in terms of location. With the help of software such as Gephi, I would be able to also visualize the user interactions within and between the two respective categories. Another hope for a future version of the map is to create a temporal dimension of the map, where I will be able to navigate, over the year, where tweets around these topics are happening over time.

In the remainder of this post, I hoped to describe in detail the process of bringing tweets from over the past year into a single heat map with interactive (clickable) tweets displaying more information. However, that description ended up 1,000 words long. I would still be happy to post it, should you be interested in reading a long description of the question that Miriam Posner asked best: “How did they make that?”

Notes

1. For men who dance for men, see Tewksbury 1993, 1994; DeMarco 2002, 2007; Boden 2007. For men who dance for women, see Petersen and Dressel 1982; Dressel and Petersen 1982; Margolis and Arnold 1993; Calhoun et al. 1998; and Bernard et al. 2003. For a full bibliography, see boylesque.info. Note that most of those are written not byscholars in the field of Theatre and Performance Studies, however, but mainly by sociologists and anthropologists.

2. I believe we can safely assume that audiences in gay striptease theatres are not always gay but will certainly queer heteronormative assumptions about rigid separations between heterosexual and homosexual desires, which is why I have chosen to call them queer audiences here.

3. Compare to other studies of striptease culture, which seem to show that dancers are fairly static in one physical location, town, city, or even one specific bar, over extended periods of time

4. This part will also discuss the susceptibility of such media interactions to a capitalist circulation of bodies, notably in pornography, where the term boylesque has recently circulated as part of the marketing strategy of gay pornography producing company CockyBoys.

5. The search term “boylesque” has been active since Oct 15, 2014, and the search terms “male strip,”“male erotic dancing,” “male revue,” and “#malestriptease” have been active since July 17, 2015. Before then, the project was going to focus explicitly and only on boylesque as a genre.

Bibliography

Bernard, Constance, Christen DeGabrielle, Lynette Cartier, Elizabeth Monk-Turner, Celestine Phill, Jennifer Sherwood, and Thomasena Tyree. “Exotic Dancers: Gender Differences in Societal Reaction, Subcultural Ties and Conventional Support.” Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture 10, no. 1 (2003): 1–11.

Boden, David M. “Alienation of Sexuality in Male Erotic Dancing.”Journal of Homosexuality 53, no. 1–2 (2007): 129–152.

Calhoun, Thomas C., Julie Ann Harms Cannon, and Rhonda Fisher. “Explorations in Youth Culture. Amateur Stripping: What we Know and What we Don’t.” In Youth Culture: Identity in a Postmodern World, edited by Jonathon S. Epstein, 302–326. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 1998.

DeMarco, Joseph R. G. “The World of Gay Strippers.” Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide 9, no. 2 (2002): 12–15.

DeMarco, Joseph R. G. “Power and Control in Gay Strip Clubs.” Journal of Homosexuality 53, no. 1–2 (2007): 111–127.

Dressel, Paula L., and David Peterson. “Gender Roles, Sexuality and the Male Strip Show: The Structuring of Sexual Opportunity.” Sociological Focus 15, no. 2 (April 1982): 151–62.

Dressel, Paula L., and David Peterson. “Becoming a Male Stripper: Recruitment, Socialisation and Ideological Development.” Work and Occupations 9, no. 3 (August 1982): 387–406.

Dressel, Paula L., and David Peterson. “Equal Time for Women: Social Notes on the Male Strip Show.” Urban Life 11, no. 2 (1982): 185–208.

Margolis, Maxine and Arnold, Marigene. “Turning the Table? Male Strippers and the Gender Hierarchy.” In Sex and Gender Hierarchies, edited by Barbara Diane Miller, 334–50. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.

Tewksbury, Richard. “Male Strippers: Men Objectifying Men.” In Doing Women’s Work: Men in Nontraditional Occupations, edited by Christine L. Williams, 168–181. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1993

Tewksbury, Richard. “A Dramaturgical Analysis of Male Strippers.” Journal of Men’s Studies 2, no. 4 (1994): 325–335.

Updates

I am flying out to ASTR next week and am still wrapping up my blog entry for the working group. Some changes in my life have made it hard for me at times to focus on work matters after finishing and passing my comprehensive exams. But the paper is coming along — it will be cross-posted here on the blog as well and will focus on the methodology I’ve developed, so far, to construct the Twitter map of tweets on male striptease and boylesque over the past year. And most importantly, the paper will focus on the flaws and problems of that methodology, which I want to address at an early stage, and see if other scholars and/or artists might have some input on how to change the methodology around to make my project more feasible.

I have also been accepted to talk at the event “CUNY DHI: Building a Digital Humanities Community at the City University of New York,” organized by the Digital Fellows at The Graduate Center, CUNY. I will do a shortened version of what I am planning on doing at ASTR, and illustrate with the help of an updated version of the map that is currently available on this website.

In terms of my dissertation, I’m still reading towards my dissertation proposal (which includes reading up on male striptease as well as a lot of methodological books and articles on social media research). I am also putting together a dissertation committee. My chair, who has accepted the job already, is Professor James Wilson. I have one more dissertation committee member who has agreed to be part of the project, Professor Elizabeth Wollman. I am very excited to get to work with Liz again!

The Roots and Routes of Burlesque (Visualization)

This is a first draft of my visualization of the roots and routes of burlesque for my comprehensive exams. I will post a more fleshed out description of the visualization as soon as I have time (after I go in and write the exam on Wednesday this upcoming week). But I wanted to share with you this preliminary progress—if nothing else to motivate myself these last couple of hours before the exam.

If you want to look at it more closely, you can see it as an image here.

Frustration

Please note that this is a post that I have cross-posted from my personal blog at westerling.nu

I am making huge strides right now in relation to my second exam readings (I am almost entirely finished with my reading for two of the fields). Yet, I am also increasingly frustrated by something, which I assume is part of the idea of having a comprehensive exam in the first place: I am getting so many ideas for my dissertation. I am currently writing a huge amount of notes on ideas that I’m having in relation to the dissertation plan that I am going to write as soon as I possible can, once I pass this exam. But the note taking on dissertation ideas is taking so much time from my reading that I’m getting nervous about finishing reading for that third field.

Anyway. I think my dissertation will take a little broader approach to ideas that I have had before, and be directed towards male striptease more generally. Currently, I am thinking about including:

  1. • A history of male striptease in vaudeville and burlesque: from strongmen to female impersonators and sissy comics;
  2. • Recentering the “gentrification”/”Disneyfication” of Times Square on the stories of male striptease dancers;
  3. • Trading on class status outside of money capital v. increasing surveillance in cities with declining/destroyed economies and politics;
  4. • The Rise and Fall of the Chippendales;
  5. • Boylesque as the glamorous “other”—as part of new burlesque, a global movement, and tourist industry.

I am so excited. And I don’t want to read another word right now. But that’s exactly what I am going to do.

Friday Update: June 26

This has been an exciting week on many levels.

Personally, despite not being a huge fanatic when it comes to marriage and all of that, Friday’s victory is a landmark victory for those who want to get married. And maybe now, finally, the LGBTQ movement can get on to bigger questions such as the awful racism in this country, the transphobia that still lives within our own alleged “communities,” voting rights, terrible wage inequalities, and many many more issues. “They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law,” wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy in the majority opinion. “The Constitution grants them that right.” Good for them/us.

Professionally, there have been some updates as well.

On Wednesday, I received an acceptance to present at ASTR in November, which was very exciting. (You may remember that I posted my proposal here on the blog.) I have never been to ASTR before, and not only am I excited to present on my work (which is also very much in its beginning phases) but also to do it in a form different from any other academic presentation I have done before: I am going to put together a poster!

Then something else happened. On Friday, I was offered and accepted a teaching position with the Department of Communications Studies at Baruch College. I will teach their Speech Communications class starting at the end of August. I’m quite excited as I’ll be working in an environment in which VOCAT (also reported on in The Chronicle of Higher Education) has been developed, and I can’t wait to put all the conversations we’ve had with The Futures Initiative over the past year into practice!

My main focus over the past week, just like last week, was to start focus fully on my reading. I realized that I need to keep myself in control somehow, and I have previously found the Pomodoro technique useful for writing. So I thought I should try it with reading as well. I realized how much time it takes to read all those pages, so now I’m getting nervous and a little stressed out. I’ll report back in a week to see how I’m doing. (For those of you who want to try it, I’d recommend this app for Macs/also on the web; and a group on Facebook that can help you get started/motivated.)

I am also falling behind in my working out, which makes me a little disappointed as well. Perhaps tomorrow, I’ll start off the day with a little run and, at the very least, a couple of exercises. I did so well in the past two weeks! I will try to work a little on that as well.

The Roots and Routes of Burlesque and New Burlesque

This is one of my three reading lists for my Second Examination in the Ph.D. Program in Theatre at The Graduate Center, CUNY. Read more about this project on my website.

Burlesque is a genre that seems to have had nine lives, and historians and critics have kept defending its legitimacy. It has repeatedly been declared dead, taken up again, re-performed, picked apart, scorned, and reclaimed. It has been defined as pure comedy, erotic entertainment intended solely for men, but also offensive, feminist, and a queer art form.

The striptease and the figure of the stripper are usually regarded as central tropes of the genre. For example, during the “Golden Age” of burlesque — the 1910s–1930s — Gypsy Rose Lee is well-known for her attempt to legitimize the element of the stripper by renaming herself an “ecdysiast.” But according to most historians of burlesque, the stripper and the striptease came about only later in the development of the form. The striptease is often blamed for bringing the genre’s Golden Age to an end, with closings of burlesque theaters in many cities around the end of the 1920s and the early 1930s; in New York, specifically, in 1937. But it is also integral to the millennial burlesque (or what has been referred to as “neo-burlesque”), indeed what defines it.

This historical field, then, will examine accounts of the roots of burlesque in Europe, particularly late 19th Century England and France, as well as its later history in New York City and around the United States. In addition to examining the way striptease functioned in burlesque, I am interested in pursuing such questions as: What was burlesque’s relationship to vaudeville and how was it circulated among other and later popular entertainments, including the musical revues, film and early television? What role does nostalgia play in “re-performances” of burlesque in the later the 20th century with shows such as Sugar Babies and Ann Corio’s This Was Burlesque as well as the popular neo-burlesque movement?

Adviser: Professor James Wilson.

Books

  1. Adams, Katherine H., Michael L. Keene, and Jennifer C. Koella. Seeing the American Woman, 1880-1920: The Social Impact of the Visual Media Explosion. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2012.
  2. Allen, Robert C. Horrible Prettiness: Burlesque and American Culture. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1991.
  3. Brooks, Siobhan. Unequal Desires: Race and Erotic Capital in the Stripping Industry. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2010.
  4. Buszek, Maria Elena. Pin-up Grrrls: Feminism, Sexuality, Popular Culture. Durham: Duke University Press, 2006.
  5. Davis, Andrew. Baggy Pants Comedy: Burlesque and the Oral Tradition. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.
  6. DesRochers, Rick. The New Humor in the Progressive Era: Americanization and the Vaudeville Comedian. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.
  7. Egan, R. Danielle, Katherine Frank, and Merri Lisa Johnson, eds. Flesh For Fantasy: Producing and Consuming Exotic Dance. New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2006.
  8. Erdman, Andrew L. Blue Vaudeville: Sex, Morals and the Mass Marketing of Amusement, 1895-1915. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., 2004.
  9. Frankel, Noralee. Stripping Gypsy: The Life of Gypsy Rose Lee. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.
  10. Friedman, Andrea. Prurient Interests: Gender, Democracy, and Obscenity in New York City, 1909- 1945. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000.
  11. Glasscock, Jessica. Striptease: From Gaslight To Spotlight. New York: H.N. Abrams, 2003.
  12. Latham, Angela J. Posing a Threat: Flappers, Chorus Girls, and Other Brazen Performers of the American 1920s. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 2000.
  13. Lewis, Robert M. From Traveling Show to Vaudeville: Theatrical Spectacle in America, 1830-1910. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003.
  14. Liepe-Levinson, Katherine. Strip Show: Performances of Gender and Desire. London and New York: Routledge, 2002.
  15. McNamara, Brooks. The New York Concert Saloon: The Devil’s Own Nights. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002.
  16. Miller, Neil, and Peter Johnson. Banned in Boston: The Watch and Ward Society’s Crusade Against Books, Burlesque, and the Social Evil. Boston: Beacon Press, 2010.
  17. Price-Glynn, Kim. Strip Club: Gender, Power, and Sex Work. New York: New York University Press, 2010.
  18. Roach, Catherine M. Stripping, Sex, and Popular Culture. New York: Berg, 2007.
  19. Rodger, Gillian. Champagne Charlie and Pretty Jemima: Variety Theater in the Nineteenth Century. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2010.
  20. Ross, Becki. Burlesque West: Showgirls, Sex and Sin in Postwar Vancouver. Toronto and Buffalo: University of Toronto Press, 2009.
  21. Sanders, Teela, and Kate Hardy. Flexible Workers: Labour, Regulation and the Political Economy of the Stripping Industry. New York and London: Routledge, 2014.
  22. Scott, Shelley, and Reid Gilbert, ed. “Burlesque.” Special issue, Canadian Theatre Review, no. 158 (Spring 2014).
  23. Shteir, Rachel. Striptease: The Untold History of the Girlie Show. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.
  24. Sterry, David. Master of Ceremonies: A True Story of Love, Murder, Roller Skates & Chippendales. Edinburgh and New York: Canongate, 2007.
  25. Willson, Jacki. The Happy Stripper: Pleasures and Politics of the New Burlesque. London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 2008.

Articles and Chapters

  1. Ashby, LeRoy. “‘The Billion-dollar Smile: From Burlesque to Vaudeville and Amusement Parks.” In With Amusement for All: A History of American Popular Culture since 1830, 107–142. Lexington, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky, 2006.
  2. Aston, Elaine, and Geraldine Harris. “The Ghosts of New Burlesque.” In A Good Night Out for the Girls: Popular Feminisms in Contemporary Theatre and Performance, 134–158. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
  3. Bachman, Merle. “A Real ‘Yankee’: Yekl as a Yiddish Burlesque.” In Recovering “Yiddishland”: Threshold Moments in American Literature, 43–80. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2008.
  4. Bradley-Engen, Mindy S., and Jeffery T. Ulmer. “Social Worlds of Stripping: The Processual Orders of Exotic Dance.” The Sociological Quarterly 50, no. 1 (Winter 2009): 29–60, doi:10.1111/j.1533-8525.2008.01132.x.
  5. Bratton, Jacky. “The Business of British Burlesque.” In Women and Comedy: History, Theory, Practice, edited by Peter Dickinson, Anne Higgins, Paul Matthew St. Pierre, Diana Solomon, and Sean Zwagerman, 79–96. Lanham, Maryland: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2013.
  6. Brown, Jayna. “‘Egyptian Beauties’ and ‘Creole Queens’: The Performance of City and Empire on the Fin-de-Siècle Black Burlesque Stage.” In Babylon Girls: Black Women Performers and the Shaping of the Modern, 92–127. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008.
  7. Burfoot, Annette. “From La Bambola to a Toronto Striptease: Drawing Out Public Consent to Gender Differentiation with Anatomical Material.” In Gender, Health, and Popular Culture: Historical Perspectives, edited by Cheryl Krasnick Warsh, 175–192. Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2011.
  8. Commane, Gemma Ruth. “Bad Girls and Dirty Bodies: Performative Histories and Transformative Styles.” In Queering Paradigms, edited by Burkhard Scherer, 49–64. New York: Peter Lang, 2010.
  9. Elledge, Jim. “‘Artfully Dressed in Woman’s Clothing’: Drag Queens on Chicago’s Burlesque Stage; An Account from the Summer of 1909.” In Literature, Pop Art, and Performance, edited by Jim Elledge. Vol. 2 of Queers in American Popular Culture, edited by Jim Elledge, 211–228. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2010.
  10. Ewing, Tabetha. “Bad Places: Sedition, Everyday Speech, and Performance in the Café of Enlightenment Paris.” In The Thinking Space: The Cafe as a Cultural Institution in Paris, Italy and Vienna, edited by Leona Rittner, W. Scott Haine, and Jeffrey H. Jackson. Farnham, UK, and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2013.
  11. Hanna, Judith Lynne. “Dance and Sexuality: Many Moves.” The Journal of Sex Research 47, no. 2/3 (March–June 2010): 212-241.
  12. Holland, Samantha and Feona Attwood. “Keeping Fit in Six Inch Heels: The Mainstreaming of Pole Dancing.” In Mainstreaming Sex: The Sexualization of Western Culture, edited by Feona Attwood, 165–182. London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 2009.
  13. Hubbard, Phil. “Opposing Striptopia: The Embattled Spaces of Adult Entertainment.” Sexualities 12, no. 6 (2009): 721-745.
  14. Lipton, Martina. “Localism and Modern British Pantomime.” In A World of Popular Entertainments: An Edited Volume of Critical Essays, edited by Gillian Arrighi and Victor Emeljanow, 55–67. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars, 2012.
  15. Mansbridge, Joanna. “The Comic Bodies and Obscene Voices of Burlesque.”  In Women and Comedy: History, Theory, Practice, edited by Peter Dickinson, Anne Higgins, Paul Matthew St. Pierre, Diana Solomon, and Sean Zwagerman, 97–110. Lanham, Maryland: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2013.
  16. Nally, Claire. “Cross-dressing and Grrrly Shows: Twenty-first Century Burlesque.” In Naked Exhibitionism: Gendered Performance and Public Exposure, edited by Claire Nally and Angela Smith, 109–136. London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 2013.
  17. Owen, Louise. “‘Work That Body’: Precarity and Femininity in the New Economy.” TDR 56, no. 4 (Winter 2012): 78–94.
  18. Pullen, Kirsten. “Burlesque, Breeches, and Blondes: Illegitimate Nineteenth-Century Cultural and Theatrical Performance.” In Actresses and Whores: On Stage and in Society, 93–103. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
  19. Ross, Becki, and Kim Greenwell. “Spectacular Striptease: Performing the Sexual and Racial Other in Vancouver, B.C., 1945-1975.” In Journal of Women’s History 17, no. 1 (Spring 2005): 137–164, doi:10.1353/jowh.2005.0012.
  20. Ross, Becki L. “Entertaining Femininities: The Embodied Exhibitions of Striptease and Sport, 1950-1975.” In Physical Culture, Power, and the Body, edited by Jennifer Hargreaves and Patricia Vertinsky, 121–141. New York and London: Routledge, 2007.
  21. Savran, David. “Pandering to the ‘Intelligent Minority’.” In Highbrow/Lowdown: Theater, Jazz, and the Making of the New Middle Class, 103–138. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2009.
  22. Saxon, Theresa. “‘A Pair of Handsome Legs’: Women on Stage, Bodies on Show, in Mid-Nineteenth-Century American Theatre.” Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies 15, no. 1 (Spring 2009): 27–44.
  23. Stober, JoAnne. “Vaudeville: The Incarnation, Transformation, and Resilience of an Entertainment Form.” In Residual Media, edited by Charles R. Acland, 133–155. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2007.
  24. Tapper, Gordon A. “Morton Minsky Reads The Bridge: ‘National Winter Garden’ and the Meaning of Burlesque.” In The Machine that Sings: Modernism, Hart Crane, and the Culture of the Body, 69–100. New York and London: Routledge, 2006.
  25. Wheeler, Leigh Ann. “‘We Don’t Want Our Boys and Girls in a Place of that Kind:’ Women’s Burlesque reform, 1925-1934.” In Against Obscenity: Reform and the Politics of Womanhood in America, 1873-1935, 96–114. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004.

 

Friday Update: June 19

I haven’t done a Friday update in the past two weeks as I have been working hard (for the past three weeks) on my summer fellowship with The Futures Initiative. I have been creating a draft of an annual report, working on website and print graphics, and made big strides in establishing a visual identity for the organization. It has been an intense three weeks of working but for the two months, more or less, I am wholly focused on my second comprehensive exams. The Friday updates for the next two months or so, thus, will most likely focus on my reading strides, reflections on what that process is like for me, and potentially even some attempts by me to synthesize the material I am covering.

Trouble with Geotagging Tweets with Users

In my initial mapping project Boylesque in the Twitter World, I used TAGS to scrape tweets mentioning boylesque, then matched those tweets with their respective user and the user’s location (something TAGS can’t manage yet) via Twitter’s REST API. The method poses a number of problems, which I will describe in this blog post. Please note that the post is not complete and that I invite comments from you below if you think of other problems.

Detailed Method Description

Tweet —> scraping (TAGS) —> CSV file —> database (local script) —> if no tweet geotag: query REST API (100 requests/time) for user location (local script) —> insert into database (local script) —> export tweets matched with locations from database (local script) to CSV) —> import CSV into CartoDB —> map

Problem: Locations Do Not Necessarily Match Tweet Location

The method described above doesn’t account for tweets that a user posts while traveling, unless the tweet is already geotagged. (that’s a problem because only 1% of tweets are geotagged, according to “Only 30% of Messages on Twitter Are From the U.S.”1) They get tagged as if the tweet was posted in the user’s hometown. This means that the map currently really shows where users are located who tweet about boylesque. Help: Is there a way to get around this problem? If you think of anything, please comment below.

Friday Update

First, a note on the format of these updates: This project may be in its beginning phases but I am intent on following up weekly on here. I am inspired by Amanda Visconti’s (Literature_Geek) suggestion after having finished a digitally-born dissertation to have weekly updates sent to your advisers. She talked about it during the event “Evaluating, Valuing, and Promoting Digital Scholarship” at The Graduate Center on April 21, 2015 (see livestream from it here). Visconti not only sent her advisers updates every week but also tracked all her writing on GitHub to convey the time she spent on her dissertation.

If you’re interested in reading the tweets from the event, the wonderful Ben Miller (benmiller314) put together a Storify afterwards.


This week has been hard to get on top of my work because I just came back from a full week in Lansing, MI for the 2015 HASTAC conference, had Monday and Tuesday off with flu-like symptoms, and then attended a Strategy Retreat with HASTAC and The Futures Initiative for the past two days. Yet:

This was also the two weeks when the real planning and implementation of this site came about. While I had registered the domain names boylesque.info and boylesque.nyc a while back in the Spring, I hadn’t really gotten anything up and running yet. My goal had been to get the website running before the HASTAC conference, as I presented on digital scholarship (follow #remixthediss on twitter for the long conversation that started in September 2014!) at the conference but wasn’t ready to launch until after the conference. Darn — because of course at least one tweeter during the conference wanted to link out to my work and was only able to find a very early work-in-progress-ey site that I had created on the CUNY Academic Commons. Oh, well! Now there’s at least one place in the cyberverse where the project can be found.

Though technically it was last week (depending on what weekday you use to start counting), on Sunday I submitted a proposal to the American Society for Theatre Researchers, and their working group on Collaboration, Evaluation, and Access in Digital Theatre Scholarship. Clearly (considering my presentation on digital scholarship at the HASTAC 2015 Conference), this working group is just right for me at this time, and I really hope my proposal is accepted.

This week, I have also set up a separate MySQL database where I am trying to keep track of boylesque artists who have participated in shows over the past couple of years. The about page on this website is pulling information from this database and creating a neat looking list of boylesque artists. I wanted to create a page like this to be able to direct folks interested in knowing more about the people in the field of boylesque, and see what they are doing. The list also links out to the artists’ websites, and in the case I haven’t been able to find their websites, to their Twitter, Facebook, and lastly Instagram profiles. Hopefully, all of them have a social media presence in any of those forums. The list is by no means an exhaustive list of the artists active in boylesque shows all over the world. If you’re interested in attending boylesque shows, the easiest way is, of course, to keep an eye on social media such as Facebook and Twitter for the keyword but also to remember to get tickets for one of the annual boylesque festivals (now in New York, Seattle, New Orleans, Vienna, and soon London!).