Hippie Modernism Forum: Fluid Identities

Kaleidoscopic reinventions of identity gave the hippie movement propulsive force and permeated its cultural output, as reflected in rock music, performance art, and a flamboyant spectrum of public self-expression. This month’s panelists are Fayette Hauser, Lauren Onkey, and Brontez Purnell. Moderated by Juana María Rodríguez.

Fayette Hauser is an original member of the San Francisco–based Cockettes, a commune and theater troupe that performed lavish stage acts in the late 1960s and early 1970s at San Francisco’s Palace Theatre. Hauser’s intimate photographs of the Cockettes, featured in Hippie Modernism, reveal the group’s offstage antics and radical lifestyle. Hauser has designed costumes for Bette Midler, Manhattan Transfer, and numerous films.

Lauren Onkey is chair and dean of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Humanities Center at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland. She served for seven years as vice president of education and public programs at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, where she developed programs that brought popular music studies to learners of all ages and oversaw the Museum’s Library and Archives. Onkey is the author of Blackness and Transatlantic Irish Identity: Celtic Soul Brothers.

Brontez Purnell is a writer, dancer, and musician living in Oakland. He produced the influential zine Fag School and performed in several Bay Area queer punk bands. Purnell has also written for various publications, including the online edition of Jigsaw, and has been a columnist for Maximum Rock’n’Roll. He is the cofounder of the Brontez Purnell Dance Company.

Juana María Rodríguez is professor of gender and women’s studies and performance studies at UC Berkeley. She is the author of two books, the award-winning Sexual Futures, Queer Gestures, and Other Latina Longings and Queer Latinidad: Identity Practices, Discursive Spaces. At Berkeley she teaches classes in queer studies, feminist theory, critical race studies, and Latina popular culture.