American Queer, Now and Then / Edition 1

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Contrasting queer life today and in years past, this landmark book brings together autobiographies, poetry, film studies, maps, documents, laws, and other texts to explore the meaning and practice of the word "queer". By this Shneer and Aviv mean: queer as both a form of social violence and a call to political activism; queer as played by Robin Williams and Sharon Stone and as lived by Matthew Shepard and Brandon Teena; queer in the courthouses of Washington D.C. and on the streets of hometown America. Contextualizing these contemporary stories with ones from the past, and understanding them through the analytic tools of feminist social criticism and history, the authors show what it means to be queer in America.

queer [adj]: 1. differing from what is usual or ordinary; odd; singular; strange 2. slightly ill 3. mentally unbalanced 4. counterfeit; not genuine 5. homosexual: in general usage, still chiefly a slang term of contempt or derision, but lately used by some as a descriptive term without negative connotations
--Webster's Dictionary

queer [adj]: used to describe a 1. body of theory 2. field of critical inquiry 3. way of proudly identifying a group of people 4. way of seeing the world 5. sense of difference from the norm
--David Shneer and Caryn Aviv, American Queer, Now and Then

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594511721
  • Publisher: Paradigm Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/28/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

David Shneer is Associate Professor of History and Director of the Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Denver.

Caryn Aviv is a Marsico Lecturer and an affiliated faculty with the Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Denver. Together they have coauthored Queer Jews (Routledge, 2002) and New Jews: The End of the Jewish Diaspora (NYU, 2005).

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Table of Contents

1 Bulldykes, faggots, and fairies, oh my! : calling and being called queer in America, now and then 1
The transformation of silence into language and action 5
Classifications of homosexuality 8
Sexual behavior in the human male 10
Gay New York 15
2 Are we free to be you and me? : queer sexuality in America, now and then 29
Sex variants 33
Sexual deviations 38
Introduction to body alchemy : transsexual portraits 41
My gender workbook 45
3 Out and about : queer spaces in America, now and then 53
Homosexual complexion perverts in St. Louis : note on a feature of psychopathy 57
"I could hardly wait to get back to that bar" : lesbian bar culture in the 1930s and 1940s 58
Renegotiating the social/sexual identities of places : gay communities as safe havens or sites of resistance? 66
At the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival 76
One of the children : gay black men in Harlem 81
4 The birds and the ... birds : queer love, sex, and romance in America, now and then 91
Smoke, lilies, and jade 95
Opening Pandora's box 102
Mike goes to the baths 105
Paradigms old and new 110
It's a white man's world 117
5 Where are our white picket fences? : queer relationships and families in America, now and then 123
Younger brother dynamics 127
Take my domestic partner, please : gays and marriage in the era of the visible 131
Queer families quack back 146
Weddings/celebrations 163
Ruling in Goodridge v. Massachusetts Department of Health 165
6 To see and be seen : queers in American media and entertainment, now and then 167
Why did I write The well of loneliness? 171
Angels in America 174
Prologue to all the rage : the story of gay visibility in America 176
7 Sticks and stones : bullying, battering, and beating American queers, now and then 181
Stone butch blues 185
The Laramie Project 193
Social movement growth, domain expansion, and framing processes : the gay/lesbian movement and violence against gays and lesbians as a social problem 198
National School Climate Survey, key findings 210
Ruling in Lawrence v. Texas 215
8 I am that name : American queer activism, now and then 217
The Society for Human Rights 223
Preface to The stone wall 225
Statement of missions and purposes 226
The ladder 228
The woman identified woman 232
Introduction to home girls : a black feminist anthology 236
No more business as usual 241
Mission statement 242
Mission statement 243
Mission statement 243
Mission statement 244
Mission statement 244
9 Conclusion : we're here, we're queer, now what? 245
Must identity movements self-destruct? : a queer dilemma 249
Heeding Isaiah's call 265
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