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Queer Knowledges: LGBTQ+ Jeopardy! Super Champions

Admission is free.


Join LGBTQ+ Jeopardy! super champions Mattea Roach and Amy Schneider for a wide-ranging conversation about their incredible success and experiences on the legendary game show. Moderated by writer, performer, and former Jeopardy! contestant Louis Virtel and USC professor Karen Tongson, this engaging and revealing panel will explore how fandom, trivia, and knowledges of the “everyday” contribute to the fabric of queer cultures.


Mattea Roach is a writer and podcast host based in Toronto. They appeared on Jeopardy! in the spring of 2022, winning 23 games and becoming the most successful Canadian contestant in the show’s history. While a student at the University of Toronto, Mattea majored in sexual diversity studies, focusing on queer and trans legal issues as well as lesbian studies. They currently host The Backbench, a podcast focusing on Canadian politics.

Amy Schneider is an American software engineer and recent Jeopardy! champion. Following an impressive 40-game winning streak, she became the most successful woman ever to compete on Jeopardy! She is second all-time in the show’s history, trailing only Ken Jennings, and the 11th highest-earning contestant of all time across all American game shows. Amy is also the first openly transgender contestant to qualify for the Tournament of Champions.

Karen Tongson is chair and professor of gender and sexuality studies, as well as professor of English and American studies and ethnicity at USC and the author of Relocations: Queer Suburban Imaginaries and Why Karen Carpenter Matters. Her writing and cultural commentary have appeared in Slate, NPR, The Los Angeles Review of Books, PBS NewsHour, The Los Angeles Times, KCRW’s Good Food, BuzzFeed Reader, and The Washington Post, among other venues. She is also the founder and director of the Mellon-funded Consortium for Gender, Sexuality, Race & Public Culture at USC Dornsife, and cohost of the podcast Waiting to X-Hale.

Louis Virtel is a Los Angeles–based writer and performer on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and co-host of Crooked Media’s pop culture podcast Keep It! He dissects gay and entertainment news in his recurring Kimmel rant segment “Virtel It Like It Is.” An entertainment savant, Virtel hosted the Academy Awards’ official live red carpet show in 2019 and 2020 and served as a writer for the 2020 Emmy Awards. He has contributed to New York Magazine, TIME, Paper, and Deadline and appeared as a contestant on Jeopardy!, Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, and The Chase.

Presented by the Consortium for Gender, Sexuality, Race and Public Culture; the Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies; USC Visions and Voices; and the USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study.

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