Publication Date: 2007-University of Chicago Press
At the start of the twentieth century, tales of "how the other half lives" experienced a surge in popularity. People looking to go slumming without leaving home turned to these narratives for spectacular revelations of the underworld and sordid details about the deviants who populated it. In this major rethinking of American literature and culture, Scott Herring explores how a key group of authors manipulated this genre to paradoxically evade the confines of sexual identification. Queering the Underworld examines a range of writers, from Jane Addams and Willa Cather to Carl Van Vechten and Djuna Barnes, revealing how they fulfilled the conventions of slumming literature but undermined its goals, and in the process, queered the genre itself. Their work frustrated the reader's desire for sexual knowledge, restored the inscrutability of sexual identity, and cast doubt on the value of a homosexual subculture made visible and therefore subject to official control. Herring is persuasive and polemical in connecting these writers to ongoing debates about lesbian and gay history and politics, and Queering the Underworld will be widely read by students and scholars of literature, history, and sexuality.
In this fresh and innovative study, Judith A. Peraino investigates how music has been used throughout history to call into question norms of gender and sexuality. Beginning with a close examination of the mythology surrounding the sirens--whose music seduced Ulysses into a state of mind in which he would gladly sacrifice everything for the illicit pleasures promised in their song--Peraino goes on to consider the musical creatures, musical gods and demigods, musical humans, and music-addled listeners who have been associated with behavior that breaches social conventions. She deftly employs a sophisticated reading of Foucault as an organizational principle as well as a philosophical focus to survey seductive and transgressive queerness in music from the Greeks through the Middle Ages and to the contemporary period. Listening to the Sirens analyzes the musical ways in which queer individuals express and discipline their desire, represent themselves, build communities, and subvert heterosexual expectations. It covers a wide range of music including medieval songs, works by Handel, Tchaikovsky and Britten, women's music and disco, performers such as Judy Garland, Melissa Etheridge, Madonna, and Marilyn Manson, and the movies The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
Andy Warhol was queer in more ways than one. A fabulous queen, a fan of prurience and pornography, a great admirer of the male body, he was well known as such to the gay audiences who enjoyed his films, the police who censored them, the gallery owners who refused to show his male nudes, and the artists who shied from his swishiness, not to mention all the characters who populated the Factory. Yet even though Warhol became the star of postmodernism, avant-garde, and pop culture, this collection of essays is the first to explore, analyze, appreciate, and celebrate the role of Warhol's queerness in the making and reception of his film and art. Ranging widely in approach and discipline, Pop Out demonstrates that to ignore Warhol's queerness is to miss what is most valuable, interesting, sexy, and political about his life and work. Written from the perspectives of art history, critical race theory, psychoanalysis, feminist theory, cinema studies, and social and literary theory, these essays consider Warhol in various contexts and within the history of the communities in which he figured. The homoerotic subjects, gay audiences, and queer contexts that fuel a certain fascination with Warhol are discussed, as well as Batman, Basquiat, and Valerie Solanas. Taken together, the essays in this collection depict Warhol's career as a practical social reflection on a wide range of institutions and discourses, including those, from the art world to mass culture, that have almost succeeded in sanitizing his work and his image. Contributors. Jennifer Doyle, Jonathan Flatley, Marcie Frank, David E. James, Mandy Merck, Michael Moon, José Esteban Muñoz, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Brian Selsky, Sasha Torres, Simon Watney, Thomas Waugh
Publication Date: 2007-University of California Press
Bohemian Los Angeles brings to life a vibrant and all-but forgotten milieu of artists, leftists, and gay men and women whose story played out over the first half of the twentieth century and continues to shape the entire American landscape. It is the story of a hidden corner of Los Angeles, where the personal first became the political, where the nation’s first enduring gay rights movement emerged, and where the broad spectrum of what we now think of as identity politics was born. Portraying life over a period of more than forty years in the hilly enclave of Edendale, near downtown Los Angeles, Daniel Hurewitz considers the work of painters and printmakers, looks inside the Communist Party’s intimate cultural scene, and examines the social world of gay men. In this vividly written narrative, he discovers why and how these communities, inspiring both one another and the city as a whole, transformed American notions of political identity with their ideas about self-expression, political engagement, and race relations. Bohemian Los Angeles, incorporating fascinating oral histories, personal letters, police records, and rare photographs, shifts our focus from gay and bohemian New York to the west coast with significant implications for twentieth-century U.S. history and politics.
From Thomas Edison's first cinematic experiments to contemporary Hollywood blockbusters, Queer Images chronicles the representation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer sexualities over one hundred years of American film. The most up-to-date and comprehensive book of its kind, it explores not only the ever-changing images of queer characters onscreen, but also the work of queer filmmakers and the cultural histories of queer audiences. Queer Images surveys a wide variety of films, individuals, and subcultures, including the work of discreetly homosexual filmmakers during Hollywood's Golden Age; classical Hollywood's (failed) attempt to purge 'sex perversion' from films; the development of gay male camp in Hollywood cinema; queer exploitation films and gay physique films; the queerness of 1960s Underground Film practice; independent lesbian documentaries and experimental films; cinematic responses to the AIDS crisis; the rise and impact of New Queer Cinema; the growth of LGBT film festivals; and how contemporary Hollywood deals with queer issues. This entertaining and insightful book reveals how the meaning of sexual identity--as reflected on the silver screen--has changed a great deal over the decades, and it celebrates both the pioneers and contemporary practitioners of queer film in America. Queer Images is an essential volume for film buffs and anyone interested in sexuality and culture.