MAXE Crandall

Maxe Crandall is a poet, playwright, and director. He is the author of the chapbooks Emoji for Cher Heart (belladonna*, 2015) and Together Men Make Paradigms (Portable Press @ Yo-Yo Labs, 2014), and is the founder of the theater company Beautiful Moments in Popular Culture, which most recently materialized as a poets theater series at The Stud in San Francisco. His new book about AIDS archives and intergenerational memory The Nancy Reagan Collection (Futurepoem) was just named one of the Best 100 Books of 2020 by the NYPL. Maxe is Interim Associate Director of the Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Stanford University.

"What is there to say that you haven't not said already? Maxe Crandall fills the Reagans' famous silence on AIDS with a dazzling fantasia on glamour, grief, testimony, fandom, and ferocious indignation. Crandall refracts the crimes of the eighties through the icons and cultural debris of that era—so many coldblooded ways for flesh, power, and image to meet in mass death. Global catastrophes ornament Nancy's reign of just saying no as the CIA runs crack to fund the Contras. She floats above, a ghoulish death's head, dead and life-like, the pole star of this performance novel. Nancy introduces hallucination at the viral spike. Above all, The Nancy Reagan Collection explores the meaning of the image in all dimensions, blunt and cryptic, the live self blinks behind the one represented. Like Nancy, you will smile one of your political grins."
— Robert Glück

"Maxe Crandall's The Nancy Reagan Collection is a virtuosic experiment where the all too harrowing reality of the Reagan era and its discontents (AIDS, Iran-Contra, the beginning of the end of the progressive American dream) meets a phantasmagorical interlocution with its strangest protagonist—Nancy Reagan. Crandall hauntingly weaves poetry and historiography together alongside an index of our fallen ancestors to remind us of the bizarre ways that queer and trans people's lives are enmeshed in deadly intimacy with people whose politics and politesse kill us. I love this book."
—Miguel Gutierrez


Courses I teach in the Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program:

  • Transgender Performance and Performativity
  • The Politics of Epidemics
  • Intersectional Feminism
  • Transgender Studies
  • Feminist Life-Writing
  • Introduction to Queer Theory
  • Introduction to Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
  • Intro to Queer Studies
  • Transnational Sexualities
  • Trans Cultural Production
  • Body Politics
  • Queer Music
  • Beauty and Power
  • Junior and Senior Practicum
  • Honors Thesis Workshop
  • Gender Studies in Greek Houses

I hold a PhD in English and Gender Studies from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. I taught in Writing and Rhetoric Programs at Georgia Tech, Temple University, and Columbia University.