Another Country: Queer Anti-Urbanism

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Overview

The metropolis has been the near exclusive focus of queer scholars and queer cultures in America. Asking us to look beyond the cities on the coasts, Scott Herring draws a new map, tracking how rural queers have responded to this myopic mindset. Interweaving a wide range of disciplines—art, media, literature, performance, and fashion studies—he develops an extended critique of how metronormativity saturates LGBTQ politics, artwork, and criticism. To counter this ideal, he offers a vibrant theory of queer anti-urbanism that refuses to dismiss the rural as a cultural backwater.

Impassioned and provocative, Another Country expands the possibilities of queer studies beyond its city limits. Herring leads his readers from faeries in the rural Midwest to photographs of white supremacists in the deep South, from Roland Barthes’s obsession with Parisian fashion to a graphic memoir by Alison Bechdel set in the Appalachian Mountains, and from cubist paintings in Lancaster County to lesbian separatist communes on the northern California coast. The result is an entirely original account of how queer studies can—and should—get to another country.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Herring has a distinctive voice, elegant with a sharp wit...a book that is as beautiful as it is brilliant." -The Journal of American History,

“Writers, artists, and activists have worked throughout the past century to imagine and materialize sustainable queer lives everywhere from Oregon to Pennsylvania, from Iowa to Alabama. Herring provides the definitive account of the myriad ways that LGBT people have constituted non-urban sites as vibrant and sexy spaces of resistance to hetero- and homonormativity, to compulsory consumerism, and to entrenched hierarchies of race, class, gender, and ability. In so doing, Another Country redraws the map of contemporary queer studies.”

-Robert McRuer,author of Crip Theory: Cultural Signs of Queerness and Disability

“Reading across the genres of literature, print and visual media, photography, and fashion, Scott Herring not only complicates the queer’s move from rural to urban space, but also the ways in which queers in ‘othered’ spaces enact an anti-urbanism through their own ‘rural stylistics.’ Another Country is fierce!”

-E. Patrick Johnson,author of Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South;An Oral History

“Scott Herring presents an exquisitely detailed road atlas of the complicated intersection between topography and destiny.”

-Alison Bechdel,author of Fun Home and Dykes to Watch Out For

"Smart and edgy...the value of this book lies principally in the provocative conceptual tools it offers to articulate the roadblocks and raptures of queer migrations."-Amin Ghaziani,American Journal of Sociology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814737187
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/2010
  • Pages: 260
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Scott Herring teaches in the Department of English at Indiana University. He is the author of Queering the Underworld: Slumming, Literature, and the Undoing of Lesbian and Gay History.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments

Introduction: I Hate New York 1

Urban Legends

From Non-Metro to Anti-Urbanism

City Subversions, Rural Stylistics, Paper Cut Politics

Outsider Artifacts

1 Autobiographies of the Ex-Urban Queer 31

Modernist Metronormativity

Gone-to-Kansas

Still Life with Charles Demuth

Berlin Story

Raw Deals

2 Critical Rusticity 63

An Aesthetic of Anti-Urbanity

Bicoastality

Country Women

Out of the Closets, Into the Woods

RFD Country

3 Southern Backwardness 99

Your Best Bubba

Alabama Souvenirs

Eastaboga/Taormina

Caravaggio's Rednecks

4 Unfashionability 125

Steel Boots of Leather

Style-less

"Enemy Clothing"

Outdated

5 Queer Infrastructure 149

Pittsburgh to the East, Philadelphia to the West

Roads to Nowhere

If Only

Alt-Routes

Coda: On the Borderlands of the Midwest 181

Notes 185

Index 223

About the Author 237

A color insert follows page 98

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