Lesbian Subjects: A Feminist Studies Reader

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The growth in cultural studies has brought homosexuality to the center of work on gender and sexuality. The lesbian is now an accepted subject for scrutiny - she exists, but how do we define her history, when did it begin, and whom do we include? Lesbian Subjects gathers essays - primarily from feminist studies between 1980 and 1993 - and traces lesbian studies from its beginnings, examining the difficulties of defining a lesbian perspective and a lesbian past - a culture, social milieux, and states of mind. ...
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Overview

The growth in cultural studies has brought homosexuality to the center of work on gender and sexuality. The lesbian is now an accepted subject for scrutiny - she exists, but how do we define her history, when did it begin, and whom do we include? Lesbian Subjects gathers essays - primarily from feminist studies between 1980 and 1993 - and traces lesbian studies from its beginnings, examining the difficulties of defining a lesbian perspective and a lesbian past - a culture, social milieux, and states of mind. Essays range from studies of such well-known figures as the Harlem renaissance poet Alice Dunbar-Nelson, to studies of specific historical moments, such as the regulation of sexuality in the Women's Army Corps during World War II. Other essays treat well-known authors such as Virginia Woolf and Gertrude Stein, lesser-known writers from the early nineteenth century to the present, postmodern definitions of the lesbian, "Queer Theory," and lesbian invisibility.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

MARTHA VICINUS is Eliza M. Mosher Distinguished University Professor of English, Women’s Studies, and History and Chair of the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan. She is author of The Industrial Muse and Independent Women, and editor Suffer and Be Still and A Widening Sphere.

Indiana University Press

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Researching Alice Dunbar-Nelson: A Personal and Literary Perspective 15
2 "Something More Tender Still than Friendship": Romantic Friendship in Early-Nineteenth-Century England 21
3 From the "Muscle Moll" to the "Butch" Ballplayer: Mannishness, Lesbianism, and Homophobia in U.S. Women's Sport 41
4 Creating G.I. Jane: The Regulation of Sexuality and Sexual Behavior in the Women's Army Corps during World War II 66
5 When Virginia Looked at Vita, What Did She See; or, Lesbian: Feminist: Woman - What's the Differ(e/a)nce? 85
6 Imitations of Marriage: Crossdressed Couples in Contemporary Lesbian Fiction 102
7 Stolen Glances: Lesbians Take Photographs 119
8 On Sexual Art 129
9 Forbidden Love 139
10 Freud's "Fetishism" and the Lesbian Dildo Debates 151
11 Man Royals and Sodomites: Some Thoughts on the Invisibility of Afro-Caribbean Lesbians 167
12 "No Kisses Is Like Youres": An Erotic Friendship between Two African-American Women during the Mid-Nineteenth Century 178
13 The Gender Closet: Lesbian Disappearance under the Sign "Women" 209
14 "They Wonder to Which Sex I Belong": The Historical Roots of the Modern Lesbian Identity 233
Contributors 261
Index 265
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