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Sylvester and Disco Culture: The Artist, Icon, Diva in His Time and Ours

  • University of Sussex (map)

Bringing together scholars, performers, DJs, and artists, this session I'm hosting at the Disco! conference considers the disco star Sylvester as diva, icon, artist, and person. Sylvester’s life, music and legacy offer an opportunity to think and feel the ways in which disco combined art, fashion, identity, industry, and community; brought forward the tension between realness and artifice; celebrated and troubled blackness, queerness, and gender nonconformity; transformed stigmatized statuses into community on and off the dance floor; and helped to create and sustain a distinct dance music sound. Featuring panelists Malik Gaines, Jason King, Adrian Loving, David McAlmont, and Louis Niebur.