Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2211-3770
  • E-ISSN: 2211-3789
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is a unique interactional practice in the drag queen community. It refers to leveling witty and often cutthroat mock insults at fellow drag queens, with an aim of . In this paper, I examine the discourse of the ‘reading challenge’, a staple of (), an internationally popular drag queen reality TV show (2009–). In the first part, I review central concepts surrounding drag performance and the phenomenon of and summarize relevant sociolinguistic literature about drag queen speech and the practice of . In the second part, I describe the as a unique discursive genre and analyse its performative structure, themes, and most prominent strategies that queens use to construct felicitous reads and throw shade. The analysis demonstrates that this genre relies on camp language and highly ritualized, repetitive, and recontextualized performance of reading, framed by requirements of mass-consumed reality TV.


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