Kai Prins

Rhetoric, Politics, and Culture

Teaching Assistant

she/her/hers or they/them/theirs; he/him/his in drag




6164 Vilas Hall

Kaila Prins


I study rhetoric at the intersections of bodies, gender, and performance. My research interrogates the ways in which gendered performances become persuasive in identity formation. I am currently focused on performances of masculinity in advertising and marketing and in drag; however, I am also interested in examining how postfeminism/neoliberalism informs online identity formation and self-branding in online health and fitness coaching communities.

I am also an award-winning burlesque and drag performer known as Will X. Uly (pronounced “Will Actually). My titles include Winner of the 23rd annual San Francisco Drag King Contest (2018) and Leading Man of the Hollywood Burlesque Festival (2019).


Gender studies, Feminist Theory, Queer Theory; Performance Studies; Rhetoric of Health and Medicine


B.A. English, University of Florida, 2007


CA 260 – Communication and Human Behavior

DesignLab – Consultant


“The Gay-te Keepers at the Fourth Wall: Queering the Borders of the Drag Stage”
Mapping the Margins, Revisited: Intersectionality and American Studies . University of Passau, Germany, American Studies Department, June 2021.

“Drag Kings Can Reign as Fierce as Queens: Theory and Performance of Masculinity in Drag”
Drag Performance in the U.S. University of Passau, Germany, American Studies Department, January 2021.


“‘Illness in the Wellness Model’: Is Orthorexia a Communic(ate)able Disease?”
UW-Madison RSA Graduate Student Chapter Symposium: Public Memory/Present Tensions. Virtual. April 2021.

“Mask-ulinity: A Socially-Distanced Drag King Revue”
The UW System’s Women’s and Gender Studies Consortium & UW-Madison’s 4W Initiative. Resistance and Reimagination: Gender, Change, and The Arts. Virtual. April 2021.

“Drag Kings Can Reign as Fierce as Queens: The Feminine Art of Masculine Drag”
National Communication Association, Performance Studies Division. Virtual. November 2020.

“The Best a Man Can Be?: Finding a Place for ‘Real’ Men in Feminist Critiques of Authenticity in Self-Care Advertising”
Cultures of Authenticity Webinar Series. Virtual. November 2020.

“The Queer Art of Winning: A Close Reading of The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula
Supermodels of the World: A Drag Race Symposium. Virtual. September 2020.

“From Ideal Health to Ideal Recovery: Perceptions of Perfect Health in the Orthorexia Narrative”
Cambridge Body and Food Histories Group conference: The Ideal Body: Perceptions of Perfection from Early Modernity to the Present. Virtual. July 2020.

“The Gay-te Keepers at the Fourth Wall: Civic Realness and Homonormativity on the Drag Stage”
Midwest Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference. University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. March 2020.


Your Body, Your Brand Podcast

Personal Website