Roski Talks: Queer Survivance

Panel Discussion
August 31,  6pm

Presented at


Event location:
Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
1717 E. 7th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90021


Reservations and Trojan Wellness Check required.

Reservations may be made here.

Please note: This event will require masks indoors and outdoors for all attendees, vaccinated or unvaccinated. Masks should be worn at all times when individuals are not actively consuming food or beverage. Unvaccinated individuals must maintain a 6’ physical distance from those outside of their household while consuming food or beverage. Anyone refusing to comply with mask requirements is subject to removal from the event. To notify the university of a positive case of COVID-19, please call 213-740-6291 or email


Roski Talks: Queer Survivance
The first Roski Talk for the 2021-22 academic year, Queer Survivance is a discussion amongst a group of queer folks of different generations from Los Angeles and beyond, who have created and/or participated in communities of joy and creativity in order to survive the precarities of capitalist life in the US. 


  • Moderator: Dr. Jeanne Vaccaro, scholar, arts writer, and curator; postdoc at the ONE Gay and Lesbian Archives at USC and teaches at USC in Gender & Sexuality Studies
  • Ron Athey, legendary queer performance artist, writer, and impresario; artist whose work and life are featured in Queer Communion: Ron Athey
  • Ponylee Estrange, trans/queer club aficionado from LA, co-organizer with Elliot Musgrave of “Cruise LA” queer club night at the Eagle, and of the Mx. Leather competition
  • madison moore, Associate Professor, Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond); professional DJ and expert on queer dance clubs
  • Judy Sisneros, artist, major figure in LA ACT UP, and queer Latinx activist; see more here


Queer Survivance is a theme (respectfully borrowed from indigenous theory*) presented in the exhibition Queer Communion: Ron Athey – curated by USC Roski Professor Amelia Jones – through photographs, drawings, props, diaries, and other objects linked to the life and performance practice of the major LA-based performance artist Ron Athey. Athey’s savagely joyous practice and capacity to live creatively in spite of the crushing weight of capitalist regimes epitomize queer survivance, and the other panelists have developed equally powerful strategies to live queerly and creatively.  

* see Gerald Vizenor, ed., Survivance: Narratives of Native Presence (University of Nebraska Press, 2008).


This event is co-sponsored by the ICA LA and  the Roski School of Art & Design at USC.Funded by the Roski School with the assistance of the Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies, the ONE Gay & Lesbian Archive, and American Studies and Ethnicity at USC.