The Power of Queer Failure | Stępniak | Polish Theatre Journal

ISSN 2451-2966


<i>Dead Girls Wanted</i>, Jolanta Janiczak, Grzegorz Stępniak, dir. Wiktor Rubin, premiere: 22 February 2019, The Zagłębie Theater, Sosnowiec, photo: Monika Stolarska
Grzegorz Stępniak

The Power of Queer Failure



Taking on queer studies theories, with particular regard to those that abandon the analysis of different models of (homo)sexuality, especially Judith 'Jack' Halberstam’s statements on queer failure, the author describes two cultural productions that deal with negative feelings, emotions, and states in new and unexpected ways. Starting with a brief introduction on the current state of queer studies as a methodology, the article offers a condensed yet thorough look at both the popular podcast titled S-Town and the play Dead Girls Wanted, read through the lens of failure and queerness as an alternative mode of being in the world.


failure; queer; subversive; normative

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Grzegorz Stępniak


 is an author of the book Sztuka życia inaczej. Ustanawianie queerowego czasu i przestrzeni [The Art of Living Differently. Establishing Queer Time and Space, 2017]. He defended his doctorate on queer approaches to time and space in relation to the human life cycle in American performance and independent cinema. He studied at the University of Pittsburgh, at the School of Theatre, Film and Television at UCLA in Los Angeles and at the American and Ethnicity Studies Department at the University of Southern California, under the direction of Judith 'Jack' Halberstam. Three-time scholarship holder of the Japanese SYLFF Foundation and the Minister of Higher Education. He publishes constantly, among others in: Notatnik Teatralny, Didaskalia, Fragile and He collaborated with the Łaźnia Nowa Theatre in Krakow, the Boska Comedy International Theatre Festival. He is a co-author of the text and dramaturgy (together with Jolanta Janiczak) Dead Girls Wanted. He is the Main Programmer MasterCard OFF CAMERA of the International Independent Cinema Festival.