Erotic Resistance: Latina/x Feminist and Queer Performance in San Francisco Strip Clubs from the 1960s to the 1990s

Lecture | December 3 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 602 Barrows Hall

 Gigi Otálvaro-Hormillosa, Teaching Fellow in the Program in Writing and Rhetoric, Stanford University

 Department of Gender and Women's Studies


In this talk which draws on archival and ethnographic research, Otálvaro-Hormillosa employs visual and performance analyses to map out a Latina/x feminist and queer herstoriography during two historic moments in relation to San Francisco’s sex industry. In the 1960s, topless entertainment became legal in the city, although cross-dressing continued to be criminalized. In the 1990s, exotic dancers in San Francisco—many of whom were queer and/or of color—prevailed in the first successful major class action lawsuits against strip clubs and unionization efforts in U.S. history. Her examination of three case studies about the transgressive practices of transgender and cisgender Latina/x performers and artist-activists during these time periods enrich genealogies of feminist and Latina/x performance and visual cultures since the 1960s.

Gigi Otálvaro-Hormillosa is a San Francisco-based artist-scholar. She holds a Ph.D. in Theater & Performance Studies with a minor in Art History from Stanford University. She is the recipient of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Women’s Community Center Graduate Feminist Scholar Award as well as the inaugural Theater & Performance Studies Department Carl Weber Prize for Integration of Creative Practice and Scholarly Research for her doctoral work and dissertation entitled Erotic Resistance: Performance, Art, and Activism, in San Francisco Strip Clubs, 1960s-2010s. A section of this manuscript will be published in early 2019 in the upcoming UC Press journal Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture. She currently teaches in the Program in Writing and Rhetoric at Stanford. For more information about her writing and performance work, visit