A tale of two Karens, “Why Karen Carpenter Matters” is a story of displacement in which Karen Tongson brilliantly reveals how those of us who live outside the narrow confines of white, cisgender, capitalist America found a home—and a voice—in the aural landscape of a seemingly quintessential white-bread, suburban American pop star—Karen Carpenter. Hosted in conversation with Mx. Justin Vivian Bond.
Karen Tongson is associate professor of English, gender and sexuality studies, and American studies and ethnicity at the University of Southern California. She is also the author of Relocations: Queer Suburban Imaginaries and the co-editor of the “Postmillennial Pop” book series at NYU Press. Her cultural commentary has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and other publications, previously a panelist for MaximumFun.org’s “Pop Rocket” podcast.