The Journal of Lady Gaga Studies

Gaga Stigmata


 Established in March 2010 as the first mover in Gaga studies, Gaga Stigmata: Critical Writings and Art About Lady Gaga is a technological journal that critically-creatively participates in the cultural project of shock pop phenomenon Lady Gaga. Keeping with the spirit of our zeitgeist, Gaga Stigmata moves at the speed of pop.


Here’s a sample essay that takes a psychoanalytic approach to the Marry the Night video:

The Warrior Queen: Marry The Night, Trauma, Regression, and Recovery

By K.M. Zwick

. . .

Sigmund Freud posited that sex (creation/joining) and violence (destruction/separation) are attractive to the most primal and perhaps truest internal aspects of all of us. He called us “polymorphously perverse,” which means that what we really want is often considered “perverted,” linking sex, fetishes, violence, comfort, nurturance, joy, and death together in so many different ways and, ahem, positions, that our unconscious is basically a clusterfuck of perversion, desire, and fantasy. Modern-day analysts might suggest there is no such thing as perversion, per se, in terms of what is desired within the mind, because perversion is so ubiquitous. Additionally, what is consensually enacted between two (or more) individuals might not be considered perverse as much as it would be considered honest – an honest engagement with what is often a combination of sex and death. Simultaneous creation and destruction. Our libidinal instincts intertwined with our aggressive ones can create powerful wishes, fantasies, fetishes, and proclivities that are not only intensely sexual but are also intensely mortal; that is, destructive. It is, perhaps, the constant repression of our deepest fantasies that leads to neurosis; it is, perhaps, the denial of the interplay between sex and death – pleasure and aggression – that results in anxious and escapist symptoms in so many. Telling ourselves that sexual and aggressive fantasies are “bad” or “wrong” is likely to lead to puritanical subversion of what is most basic, and therefore authentic, in us. Freud might have argued that we are not sick when we are in touch with our most primal instincts (in safe, consensual fashions) but rather that we are most sick when we deny their existence, relevance, and the pleasurable effect of such instincts.