Kalle Westerling

Humanist first. Digital second. Always hopeful.

Kalle Westerling is a performance scholar and historian. His doctoral research focused on itinerant drag performers around New York and along the Eastern Seaboard in the 1930s as part of a collective art form that brought queerness with them to towns and cities around the area. He has also written on topics ranging from queer indie wrestlers, boylesque and male-identified strippers in neo-burlesque, and the influence of RuPaul’s Drag Race on the livelihood and aesthetics of contemporary New York City drag queens.

Previously, he was the project manager for the NEH-funded project “Expanding Communities of Practice,” aimed at helping to create infrastructure for digital humanities across several higher education institutions across the U.S. He is a member of the Steering Committee of HASTAC, the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory.


selected publications

  1. Chapter
    Queer Maximalism, Wildness, and Machine Dazzle’s A 24-Decade of Popular Music
    Westerling, Kalle
  2. Chapter
    Expanding DH Communities of Practice through Andragogy, Critical Pedagogy, and Carework
    Westerling, Kalle, and Rhody, Lisa Marie
  3. Chapter
    Between Power Bombs and Death Drops: Interpellation and Identity in The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity and Queer Indie Wrestling
    Westerling, Kalle
  4. Chapter
    Race for the Money: The Influence of RuPaul's Drag Race on the Livelihood and Aesthetics of New York City's Drag Culture
    Westerling, Kalle