Queer Ideas: The Kessler Lectures in Lesbian & Gay Studies

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This volume brings together ten core thinkers in the field of lesbian and gay studies. Participants in the outstanding Kessler series, hosted by CLAGS, the premiere U.S. think-tank in the field, they present ten -diverse approaches to the experiences, history, and culture of lesbian and gay people, and in the process they think new and queer ideas into being. Beginning with Joan Nestle, who explores the outsider status of lesbians through the complex life a black lesbian domestic worker, and ending with Judith Butler, who speaks on -human rights in the aftermath of -September 11. The collection includes the pantheon of queer theorists: Edmund White on queer fiction and criticism, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick on the dialogics of love, and John D’Emilio on gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This is an important collection of ten revised speeches from the prestigious Kessler lecture series at CUNY's Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, which attracts important thinkers in LGTBQ (Lesbian/Gay/Transgender/Bisexual/Queer) studies. Between 1992 and 2001, the series included Joan Nestle, Edmund White, Barbara Smith, Monique Wittig, Esther Newton, Samuel R. Delany, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, John D'Emilio, Cherrie Moraga, and Judith Butler, whose work is represented here. Taken as a whole, these essays are emblematic of the theoretical diversity that marks LGTBQ studies. For example, Nestle preserves the life stories of socially marginal lesbians, while Butler examines gender as a fluid variable that shifts according to historical context. The witty introduction, written by the past and current center directors, convincingly argues that "queer ideas can change the world," yet the essays themselves are uneven. Historicizing categories of identity is intellectually powerful, but some speakers declare, "I'm here, I'm queer" without explaining why being queer matters. A helpful addition to such standard LGTBQ texts as Queer Studies: An Interdisciplinary Reader (ed., Robert Corber) or The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader (ed., Henry Abelove). Recommend for public and academic libraries.-Katherine C. Adams, Bowdoin Coll. Lib., Brunswick, ME Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Foreword 1
Introduction 5
"I Lift My Face to the Hill": The Life of Mabel Hampton as Told by a White Woman 21
The Personal Is Political: Queer Fiction and Criticism 41
African American Lesbian and Gay History: An Exploration 51
Reading and Comments: Virgile, non/Across the Acheron 63
My Butch Career: A Memoir 81
...3, 2, 1, Contact 99
A Dialogue on Love 137
A Biographer and His Subject: Wrestling with Bayard Rustin 169
A Xicanadyke Codex of Changing Consciousness 185
Global Violence, Sexual Politics 197
Permissions Acknowledgments 215
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