A hard-hitting look at the regulation of sexual difference and its role in circumscribing African American culture
The sociology of race relations in America typically describes an intersection of poverty, race, and economic discrimination. But what is missing from the picture—sexual difference—can be as instructive as what is present. In this ambitious work, Roderick A. Ferguson reveals how the discourses of sexuality are used to articulate theories of racial difference in the field of sociology. He shows how canonical sociology—Gunnar Myrdal, Ernest Burgess, Robert Park, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and William Julius Wilson—has measured African Americans’s unsuitability for a liberal capitalist order in terms of their adherence to the norms of a heterosexual and patriarchal nuclear family model. In short, to the extent that African Americans’s culture and behavior deviated from those norms, they would not achieve economic and racial equality.
Aberrations in Black tells the story of canonical sociology’s regulation of sexual difference as part of its general regulation of African American culture. Ferguson places this story within other stories—the narrative of capital’s emergence and development, the histories of Marxism and revolutionary nationalism, and the novels that depict the gendered and sexual idiosyncrasies of African American culture—works by Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, and Toni Morrison. In turn, this book tries to present another story—one in which people who presumably manifest the dysfunctions of capitalism are reconsidered as indictments of the norms of state, capital, and social science. Ferguson includes the first-ever discussion of a new archival discovery—a never-published chapter of Invisible Man that deals with a gay character in a way that complicates and illuminates Ellison’s project.
Unique in the way it situates critiques of race, gender, and sexuality within analyses of cultural, economic, and epistemological formations, Ferguson’s work introduces a new mode of discourse—which Ferguson calls queer of color analysis—that helps to lay bare the mutual distortions of racial, economic, and sexual portrayals within sociology.
Act Up-Paris became one of the most notable protest groups in France in the mid-1990s. Founded in 1989, and following the New York model, it became a confrontational voice representing the interests of those affected by HIV through openly political activism. Action=Vie, the English-language translation of Christophe Broqua’s study of the grassroots activist branch, explains the reasons for the group’s success and sheds light on Act Up's defining features—such as its unique articulation between AIDS and gay activism.
Featuring numerous accounts by witnesses and participants, Broqua traces the history of Act Up-Paris and shows how thousands of gay men and women confronted the AIDS epidemic by mobilizing with public actions. Act Up-Paris helped shape the social definition not only of HIV-positive persons but also of sexual minorities. Broqua analyzes the changes brought about by the group, from the emergence of new treatments for HIV infection to normalizing homosexuality and a controversy involving HIV-positive writers’ remarks about unprotected sex. This rousing history ends in the mid-2000s before marriage equality and antiretroviral treatments caused Act Up-Paris to decline.
Acts of Gaietyexplores the mirthful modes of political performance by LGBT artists, activists, and collectives that have inspired and sustained deadly serious struggles for revolutionary change. The book explores antics such as camp, kitsch, drag, guerrilla theater, zap actions, rallies, manifestos, pageants, and parades alongside more familiar forms of "legitimate theater." Against queer theory's long-suffering romance with mourning and melancholia and a national agenda that urges homosexuals to renounce pleasure if they want to be taken seriously by mainstream society, Acts of Gaietyseeks to reanimate notions of "gaiety" as a political value for LGBT activism.
The book mines the archives of lesbian-feminist activism of the 1960s-70s, highlighting the outrageous gaiety that lay at the center of the social and theatrical performances of the era and uncovering original documents long thought to be lost. Juxtaposing historical figures such as Valerie Solanas and Jill Johnston with more recent performers and activists (including Hothead Paisan, Bitch & Animal, and the Five Lesbian Brothers), Warner shows how reclaiming this largely discarded and disavowed past elucidates possibilities for being and belonging. Acts of Gaietyexplores the mutually informing histories of gayness as politics and as joie de vivre, along with the centrality of liveliness to queer performance and protest.
Adam’s visit prompted Creech to re-evaluate his belief that homosexuality was a sin, and to research the scriptural basis for the church’s position. He determined that the church was mistaken, that scriptural translations and interpretations had been botched and dangerously distorted. As a Christian, Creech came to believe that discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people was morally wrong. This understanding compelled him to perform same-gender commitment ceremonies, which conflicted with church directives. Creech was tried twice by The United Methodist Church, and, after the second trial, his ordination credentials were revoked. Adam’s Gift is a moving story and an important chapter in the unfinished struggle for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil and human rights.
Contributors. Lauren Berlant, Leo Bersani, Michael Cobb, Ann Cvetkovich, Lee Edelman, Richard Thompson Ford, Carla Freccero, Elizabeth Freeman, Jonathan Goldberg, Janet Halley, Neville Hoad, Joseph Litvak, Heather Love, Michael Lucey, Michael Moon, José Esteban Muñoz, Jeff Nunokawa, Andrew Parker, Elizabeth A. Povinelli, Richard Rambuss, Erica Rand, Bethany Schneider, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Kate Thomas
As the U.S. Latino population grows rapidly, and as the LGBTQ Latino community becomes more visible and a more crucial part of our literary and artistic heritage, there is an increasing demand for literature that successfully highlights these diverse lives. Edited by Lázaro Lima and Felice Picano, Ambientes is a revolutionary collection of fiction featuring stories by established authors as well as emerging voices that present a collective portrait of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender experience in America today. With a preface by Picano and an introduction by Lima that sets the stage for understanding Latino literary and cultural history, this is the first anthology to cross cultural and regional borders by offering a wide variety of urban, rural, East Coast, West Coast, and midwestern perspectives on Latina and Latino queers from different walks of life. Stories range from sensual pieces to comical romances and from inner-city dramas fueled by street language to portraits of gay domesticity, making this a much-needed collection for many different kinds of readers. The stories in this collection reflect a vibrant and creative community and redefine received notions of “gay” and “lesbian.”
Best Special Interest Books, selected by the Public Library Reviewers
Finalist, Over the Rainbow selection, American Library Association
Finalist, LGBT Anthology, Lambda Literary Awards
Best Special Interest Books, selected by the American Association of School Librarians
Karen L. Graves details how teachers were targeted, interrogated, and stripped of their professional credentials, and she examines the extent to which these teachers resisted the invasion of their personal lives. She contrasts the experience of three groups--civil rights activists, gay and lesbian teachers, and University of South Florida personnel--called before the committee and looks at the range of response and resistance to the investigations. Based on archival research conducted on a recently opened series of Investigation Committee records in the State Archives of Florida, this work highlights the importance of sexuality in American and education history and argues that Florida's attempt to govern sexuality in schools implies that educators are distinctly positioned to transform dominant ideology in American society.
Chen's book is the first to bring the concept of animacy together with queer of color scholarship, critical animal studies, and disability theory. Through analyses of dehumanizing insults, the meanings of queerness, animal protagonists in recent Asian/American art and film, the lead in toys panic in 2007, and the social lives of environmental illness, Animacies illuminates a hierarchical politics infused by race, sexuality, and ability. In this groundbreaking book, Chen rethinks the criteria governing agency and receptivity, health and toxicity, productivity and stillness—and demonstrates how attention to the affective charge of matter challenges commonsense orderings of the world.
Authored by one of the most respected figures in the field of personal ethnographic narrative, this book serves as both a memoir and a sociological study, telling the story of one lesbian couple’s lifelong journey together.
Are You Two Sisters? is Susan Krieger’s candid, revealing, and engrossing memoir about the intimacies of a lesbian couple. Krieger explores how she and her partner confront both the inner challenges of their relationship and the invisibility of lesbian identity in the larger world.
Using a lively novelistic and autoethnographic approach that toggles back and forth in time, Krieger reflects on the evolution of her forty-year relationship. She describes building a life together, from sharing pets and travels to getting married. Are You Two Sisters? addresses not only questions of gender and sexuality, but also of disability, as Krieger explores how the couple adapts to her increasing blindness.
Krieger’s title comes from a question asked by a stranger outside a remote desert bar as she and her partner traveled in the Southwest. Her apprehension about answering that question suggests how, even after the legalization of gay marriage, lesbianism often remains hidden—an observation that makes Krieger’s poignant narrative all the more moving.
Staging a much-needed conversation between two often-segregated fields, this issue addresses the promising future of queer and area studies as collaborative formations. Within queer studies, the turn to geopolitics has challenged the field's logics of time, space, and culture, which have routinely been rooted in the United States. For area studies, the focus on diaspora, forced migration, and other transnational trajectories has unmoored the geopolitical from the stability of nations as organizing concepts. The contributors to this issue seek to imagine and broker conversations between the two fields in which "area" becomes the form through which epistemologies of empire and market are critiqued. Histories of debt bondage; sexuality, and indentured labor; Afro-pessimism in African studies; trans theater facing obdurate transits; religion and the politics of Dalit modernity; the biopolitics of maiming: these are some of the conduits through which the authors approach a queer geopolitics.Contributors: Anjali Arondekar, Ashley Currier, Aliyah Khan, Keguro Macharia, Thérèse Migraine-George, Maya Mikdashi, Geeta Patel, Jasbir K. Puar, Lucinda Ramberg, Neferti Tadiar, Diana Taylor, Ronaldo Wilson
The relationship between religious belief and sexuality as personal attributes exhibits some provocative comparisons. Despite the nonestablishment of religion in the United States and the constitutional guarantee of free exercise, Christianity functions as the religious and moral standard in America. Ethical views that do not fit within this consensus often go unrecognized as moral values. Similarly, in the realm of sexual orientation, heterosexuality is seen as the yardstick by which sexual practices are measured. The notion that "alternative" sexual practices like homosexuality could possess ethical significance is often overlooked or ignored.
In her new book, An Argument for Same-Sex Marriage, political scientist Emily Gill draws an extended comparison between religious belief and sexuality, both central components of one’s personal identity. Using the religion clause of the First Amendment as a foundation, Gill contends that, just as US law and policy ensure that citizens may express religious beliefs as they see fit, it should also ensure that citizens may marry as they see fit. Civil marriage, according to Gill, is a public institution, and the exclusion of some couples from a state institution is a public expression of civic inequality.
An Argument for Same-Sex Marriage is a passionate and timely treatment of the various arguments for and against same-sex marriage and how those arguments reflect our collective sense of morality and civic equality. It will appeal to readers who have an interest in gay and lesbian studies, political theory, constitutional law, and the role of religion in the contemporary United States.
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