If you’ve spent any time in an institute of higher learning in the last decade or so, it probably won’t surprise you that there are people spending their time doing serious academic writing about Lady Gaga, and just about every other pop cultural subject you can imagine. Kate Durbin is a Californian writer and poet who is the co-editor of Gaga Stigmata, an online journal of critical and scholarly writing about Lady Gaga. Here’s an interview with her where she attempts to answer the question “Why Gaga?” ” Via The Rumpus:
My desire was to have critical exegesis of Gaga’s work in one place, to follow and participate in her project, especially knowing that she would probably read and respond to the work on Gaga Stigmata because she’s so tech savvy (she is the most tech-savvy of all the pop stars) and so interlinked with her fans. She really allows her fans and their desires to shape her destiny; this is a huge part of her success, this symbiotic relationship between Gaga and her monsters. I mean, she says her fans created her.
So these desires led me to my concept for Gaga Stigmata. I wanted to build a space that was like Lady Gaga, where it’s a new space to perform criticism, pushing the limits of what is possible in criticism, interpreting and changing popular culture in a very immediate way. Not a journal where we’re talking about what this person did two years ago, but we’re tracking what she does as she goes, kind of banking on her, like an investment.
Ah, well. That clarifies everything.