Time Binds

Author: Elizabeth Freeman
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822348047
Release Date: 2010-11-29
Genre: Literary Criticism

By foregrounding bodily pleasure in the experience of time and its representation in queer literature, film, video, and art, Elizabeth Freeman challenges queer theory s recent emphasis on loss and trauma.

The Queer Art of Failure

Author: Judith Halberstam
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822350453
Release Date: 2011-09-19
Genre: Performing Arts

The Queer Art of Failure is about finding alternatives - to conventional understandings of success in a heteronormative, capitalist society; to academic disciplines that confirm what is already known according to approved methods of knowing; and to cultural criticism that has extensively theorized hegemony but paid little attention to counter-hegemony. Judith Halberstam proposes "low theory" as a means of recovering ways of being and forms of knowledge not legitimized by existing systems and institutions. Low theory is derived from eccentric archives. It runs the risk of not being taken seriously. It entails a willingness to fail and to lose one's way. Tacking back and forth between high theory and low theory, high culture and low culture, Halberstam looks for the unexpected and subversive in popular culture, avant-garde performance, and queer art. She pays particular attention to animated children's films, contending that new forms of animation, especially CGI, have generated narratives filled with unexpected encounters between the childish, the transformative, and the queer. Dismantling contemporary logics of success, Halberstam demonstrates that failure sometimes offers more creative, cooperative, and surprising ways of being in the world.

Feeling Backward

Author: Heather Love
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674032392
Release Date: 2009-03-31
Genre: Literary Criticism

'Feeling Backward' weighs the cost of the contemporary move to the mainstream in lesbian and gay culture. It makes an effort to value aspects of historical gay experience that now threaten to disappear, branded as embarrassing evidence of the bad old days before Stonewall. Love argues that instead of moving on, we need to look backward.

Impossible Desires

Author: Gayatri Gopinath
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822386537
Release Date: 2005-03-29
Genre: Social Science

By bringing queer theory to bear on ideas of diaspora, Gayatri Gopinath produces both a more compelling queer theory and a more nuanced understanding of diaspora. Focusing on queer female diasporic subjectivity, Gopinath develops a theory of diaspora apart from the logic of blood, authenticity, and patrilineal descent that she argues invariably forms the core of conventional formulations. She examines South Asian diasporic literature, film, and music in order to suggest alternative ways of conceptualizing community and collectivity across disparate geographic locations. Her agile readings challenge nationalist ideologies by bringing to light that which has been rendered illegible or impossible within diaspora: the impure, inauthentic, and nonreproductive. Gopinath juxtaposes diverse texts to indicate the range of oppositional practices, subjectivities, and visions of collectivity that fall outside not only mainstream narratives of diaspora, colonialism, and nationalism but also most projects of liberal feminism and gay and lesbian politics and theory. She considers British Asian music of the 1990s alongside alternative media and cultural practices. Among the fictional works she discusses are V. S. Naipaul’s classic novel A House for Mr. Biswas, Ismat Chughtai’s short story “The Quilt,” Monica Ali’s Brick Lane, Shyam Selvadurai’s Funny Boy, and Shani Mootoo’s Cereus Blooms at Night. Analyzing films including Deepa Mehta’s controversial Fire and Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding, she pays particular attention to how South Asian diasporic feminist filmmakers have reworked Bollywood’s strategies of queer representation and to what is lost or gained in this process of translation. Gopinath’s readings are dazzling, and her theoretical framework transformative and far-reaching.

Cruising Utopia

Author: José Esteban Muñoz
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814796001
Release Date: 2009-11-01
Genre: Social Science

The LGBT agenda for too long has been dominated by pragmatic issues like same-sex marriage and gays in the military. It has been stifled by this myopic focus on the present, which is short-sighted and assimilationist. Cruising Utopia seeks to break the present stagnancy by cruising ahead. Drawing on the work of Ernst Bloch, José Esteban Muñoz recalls the queer past for guidance in presaging its future. He considers the work of seminal artists and writers such as Andy Warhol, LeRoi Jones, Frank O’Hara, Ray Johnson, Fred Herko, Samuel Delany, and Elizabeth Bishop, alongside contemporary performance and visual artists like Dynasty Handbag, My Barbarian, Luke Dowd, Tony Just, and Kevin McCarty in order to decipher the anticipatory illumination of art and its uncanny ability to open windows to the future. In a startling repudiation of what the LGBT movement has held dear, Muñoz contends that queerness is instead a futurity bound phenomenon, a "not yet here" that critically engages pragmatic presentism. Part manifesto, part love-letter to the past and the future, Cruising Utopia argues that the here and now are not enough and issues an urgent call for the revivification of the queer political imagination.

Necro Citizenship

Author: Russ Castronovo
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822380146
Release Date: 2001-09-06
Genre: Political Science

In Necro Citizenship Russ Castronovo argues that the meaning of citizenship in the United States during the nineteenth century was bound to—and even dependent on—death. Deploying an impressive range of literary and cultural texts, Castronovo interrogates an American public sphere that fetishized death as a crucial point of political identification. This morbid politics idealized disembodiment over embodiment, spiritual conditions over material ones, amnesia over history, and passivity over engagement. Moving from medical engravings, séances, and clairvoyant communication to Supreme Court decisions, popular literature, and physiological tracts, Necro Citizenship explores how rituals of inclusion and belonging have generated alienation and dispossession. Castronovo contends that citizenship does violence to bodies, especially those of blacks, women, and workers. “Necro ideology,” he argues, supplied citizens with the means to think about slavery, economic powerlessness, or social injustice as eternal questions, beyond the scope of politics or critique. By obsessing on sleepwalkers, drowned women, and other corpses, necro ideology fostered a collective demand for an abstract even antidemocratic sense of freedom. Examining issues involving the occult, white sexuality, ghosts, and suicide in conjunction with readings of Harriet Jacobs, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Frederick Douglass, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Frances Harper, Necro Citizenship successfully demonstrates why Patrick Henry's “give me liberty or give me death” has resonated so strongly in the American imagination.

In a Queer Time and Place

Author: Judith Halberstam
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814735851
Release Date: 2005-01
Genre: Literary Criticism

What is the price of a limb? A child? Ethnicity? Love? In a world that is often ruled by buyers and sellers, those things that are often considered priceless become objects to be marketed and from which to earn a profit. Ranging from black market babies to exploitative sex trade operations to the marketing of race and culture, Rethinking Commodification presents an interdisciplinary collection of writings, including legal theory, case law, and original essays to reexamine the traditional legal question: ?To commodify or not to commodify?” In this pathbreaking course reader, Martha M. Ertman and Joan C. Williams present the legal cases and theories that laid the groundwork for traditional critiques of commodification, which tend to view the process as dehumanizing because it reduces all human interactions to economic transactions. This “canonical” section is followed by a selection of original essays that present alternative views of commodification based on the concept that commodification can have diverse meanings in a variety of social contexts. When viewed in this way, the commodification debate moves beyond whether or not commodification is good or bad, and is assessed instead on the quality of the social relationships and wider context that is involved in the transaction. Rethinking Commodification contains an excellent array of contemporary issues, including intellectual property, reparations for slavery, organ transplants, and sex work; and an equally stellar array of contributors, including Richard Posner, Margaret Jane Radin, Regina Austin, and many others.

Cereus Blooms at Night

Author: Shani Mootoo
Publisher: Grove Press
ISBN: 0802144624
Release Date: 2009-10
Genre: Fiction

Shani Mootoo’s haunting debut took the international literary world by storm. A Book Sense selection and a finalist for the Giller Prize, the Chapters/Books in Canada First Novel Award, and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, Cereus Blooms at Night is an exquisite cross-generational history filled with thrilling passion and alluring mystery. Set in the fictional Caribbean town of Paradise, Cereus Blooms at Night unveils the mystery surrounding Mala Ramchandin, an aging, notoriously crazy woman suspected of murdering her father. When a judge finds Mala unfit to stand trial, she is delivered, frail and mute, to the Paradise Alms House and into the care of Tyler, a vivacious male nurse, who becomes the unlikely storyteller of Mala’s extraordinary life. In luminous, sensual prose, Mootoo explores identity, gender, and violence in a celebration of our capacity to love despite cruelty and despair.

The Wedding Complex

Author: Elizabeth Freeman
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822329891
Release Date: 2002-10-31
Genre: Literary Criticism

DIVA queer literary and cultural studies examination of the wedding ceremony (rather than the resulting marriages) which finds it to be a space of more open possibilities than might normally be supposed./div

Black Queer Studies

Author: E. Patrick Johnson
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822387220
Release Date: 2005-10-11
Genre: Social Science

While over the past decade a number of scholars have done significant work on questions of black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered identities, this volume is the first to collect this groundbreaking work and make black queer studies visible as a developing field of study in the United States. Bringing together essays by established and emergent scholars, this collection assesses the strengths and weaknesses of prior work on race and sexuality and highlights the theoretical and political issues at stake in the nascent field of black queer studies. Including work by scholars based in English, film studies, black studies, sociology, history, political science, legal studies, cultural studies, and performance studies, the volume showcases the broadly interdisciplinary nature of the black queer studies project. The contributors consider representations of the black queer body, black queer literature, the pedagogical implications of black queer studies, and the ways that gender and sexuality have been glossed over in black studies and race and class marginalized in queer studies. Whether exploring the closet as a racially loaded metaphor, arguing for the inclusion of diaspora studies in black queer studies, considering how the black lesbian voice that was so expressive in the 1970s and 1980s is all but inaudible today, or investigating how the social sciences have solidified racial and sexual exclusionary practices, these insightful essays signal an important and necessary expansion of queer studies. Contributors. Bryant K. Alexander, Devon Carbado, Faedra Chatard Carpenter, Keith Clark, Cathy Cohen, Roderick A. Ferguson, Jewelle Gomez, Phillip Brian Harper, Mae G. Henderson, Sharon P. Holland, E. Patrick Johnson, Kara Keeling, Dwight A. McBride, Charles I. Nero, Marlon B. Ross, Rinaldo Walcott, Maurice O. Wallace

Safe Space

Author: Christina B. Hanhardt
Publisher: Duke University Press Books
ISBN: 0822354578
Release Date: 2013-12-04
Genre: Social Science

Winner, 2014 Lambda Literary Award in LGBT Studies Since the 1970s, a key goal of lesbian and gay activists has been protection against street violence, especially in gay neighborhoods. During the same time, policymakers and private developers declared the containment of urban violence to be a top priority. In this important book, Christina B. Hanhardt examines how LGBT calls for "safe space" have been shaped by broader public safety initiatives that have sought solutions in policing and privatization and have had devastating effects along race and class lines. Drawing on extensive archival and ethnographic research in New York City and San Francisco, Hanhardt traces the entwined histories of LGBT activism, urban development, and U.S. policy in relation to poverty and crime over the past fifty years. She highlights the formation of a mainstream LGBT movement, as well as the very different trajectories followed by radical LGBT and queer grassroots organizations. Placing LGBT activism in the context of shifting liberal and neoliberal policies, Safe Space is a groundbreaking exploration of the contradictory legacies of the LGBT struggle for safety in the city.

Why I Hate Abercrombie Fitch

Author: Dwight McBride
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 9780814756850
Release Date: 2005-02-01
Genre: Social Science

Why hate Abercrombie? In a world rife with human cruelty and oppression, why waste your scorn on a popular clothing retailer? The rationale, Dwight A. McBride argues, lies in “the banality of evil,” or the quiet way discriminatory hiring practices and racist ad campaigns seep into and reflect malevolent undertones in American culture. McBride maintains that issues of race and sexuality are often subtle and always messy, and his compelling new book does not offer simple answers. Instead, in a collection of essays about such diverse topics as biased marketing strategies, black gay media representations, the role of African American studies in higher education, gay personal ads, and pornography, he offers the evolving insights of one black gay male scholar. As adept at analyzing affirmative action as dissecting Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, McBride employs a range of academic, journalistic, and autobiographical writing styles. Each chapter speaks a version of the truth about black gay male life, African American studies, and the black community. Original and astute, Why I Hate Abercrombie & Fitch is a powerful vision of a rapidly changing social landscape.

Female Masculinity

Author: Judith Halberstam
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822322439
Release Date: 1998
Genre: Social Science

Masculinity without men. In Female Masculinity Judith Halberstam takes aim at the protected status of male masculinity and shows that female masculinity has offered a distinct alternative to it for well over two hundred years. Providing the first full-length study on this subject, Halberstam catalogs the diversity of gender expressions among masculine women from nineteenth-century pre-lesbian practices to contemporary drag king performances. Through detailed textual readings as well as empirical research, Halberstam uncovers a hidden history of female masculinities while arguing for a more nuanced understanding of gender categories that would incorporate rather than pathologize them. She rereads Anne Lister's diaries and Radclyffe Hall's The Well of Loneliness as foundational assertions of female masculine identity. She considers the enigma of the stone butch and the politics surrounding butch/femme roles within lesbian communities. She also explores issues of transsexuality among "transgender dykes"--lesbians who pass as men--and female-to-male transsexuals who may find the label of "lesbian" a temporary refuge. Halberstam also tackles such topics as women and boxing, butches in Hollywood and independent cinema, and the phenomenon of male impersonators. Female Masculinity signals a new understanding of masculine behaviors and identities, and a new direction in interdisciplinary queer scholarship. Illustrated with nearly forty photographs, including portraits, film stills, and drag king performance shots, this book provides an extensive record of the wide range of female masculinities. And as Halberstam clearly demonstrates, female masculinity is not some bad imitation of virility, but a lively and dramatic staging of hybrid and minority genders.

Skin Shows

Author: Judith Halberstam
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822316633
Release Date: 1995
Genre: Literary Criticism

In this examination of the monster as cultural object, Judith Halberstam offers a rereading of the monstrous that revises our view of the Gothic. Moving from the nineteenth century and the works of Shelley, Stevenson, Stoker, and Wilde to contemporary horror film exemplified by such movies as Silence of the Lambs, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Candyman, Skin Shows understands the Gothic as a versatile technology, a means of producing monsters that is constantly being rewritten by historically and culturally conditioned fears generated by a shared sense of otherness and difference. Deploying feminist and queer approaches to the monstrous body, Halberstam views the Gothic as a broad-based cultural phenomenon that supports and sustains the economic, social, and sexual hierarchies of the time. She resists familiar psychoanalytic critiques and cautions against any interpretive attempt to reduce the affective power of the monstrous to a single factor. The nineteenth-century monster is shown, for example, as configuring otherness as an amalgam of race, class, gender, and sexuality. Invoking Foucault, Halberstam describes the history of monsters in terms of its shifting relation to the body and its representations. As a result, her readings of familiar texts are radically new. She locates psychoanalysis itself within the gothic tradition and sees sexuality as a beast created in nineteenth century literature. Excessive interpretability, Halberstam argues, whether in film, literature, or in the culture at large, is the actual hallmark of monstrosity.

The Transgender Studies Reader

Author: Susan Stryker
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781135398842
Release Date: 2013-10-18
Genre: History

How Picturebooks Work is an innovative and engaging look at the interplay between text and image in picturebooks. The authors explore picturebooks as a specific medium or genre in literature and culture, one that prepares children for other media of communication, and they argue that picturebooks may be the most influential media of all in the socialization and representation of children. Spanning an international range of children's books, this book examine such favorites as Curious George and Frogand Toad Are Friends, along with the works of authors and illustrators including Maurice Sendak and Tove Jansson, among others. With 116 illustrations, How PicturebooksWork offers the student of children's literature a new methodology, new theories, and a new set of critical tools for examining the picturebook form.