Exploring questions of sexuality and gender, this volume brings together ten core thinkers in the field of lesbian and gay studies and provides an essential introduction to this interdisciplinary field as well as the processes by which new—and queer—ideas are thought into being.
The collection begins with Joan Nestle, exploring the outsider status of lesbians through the complex life of a working-class black lesbian born in the South, who lived in New York and experienced the transition from complete marginalization to gay pride. It ends with Judith Butler, who speaks on broadening our concept of human rights in the aftermath of September 11. The collection also includes Edmund White on queer fiction and criticism, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick on the dialogics of love, John D'Emilio on gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, Esther Newton on being "butch", and lectures by Barbara Smith, Monique Wittig, Samuel R. Delany, and Cherrie Moraga. Alisa Solomon and Martin Duberman of CLAGS discuss the genesis of the lecture series and reflect on the evolution of lesbian and gay studies over its first ten years.
"This book is sharp, clear, and terrifically moving: the book's introduction and contributors remind us of the centrality of articulation to the project of liberation. We have written our way out of the depths of oppression and we have a long, long way to go."
"Rarely can you see history being made. With this book, you will see an outrageous idea—LGBTQ studies, queer studies—happen before your eyes. You will see here how it grows, with new insights being created, criticized, dreamed, defended, remade. By the end of this book you will understand why it remains so vital and animated and insistent. And why it continues to go forward."
"Brave and brilliant, fabulous and deep, these ten visionary thinkers teach us how queer ideas can and must and do reshape the world."
"These essays explore how LGBTQ people at once belong and transform, how we are both central to and distinct from the mainstream in U.S. society. The result is an eloquent, fresh book."