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Civic reading practice in contemporary American and Canadian writing
Author: Zalfa Feghali

Can reading make us better citizens? This book sheds light on how the act of reading can be mobilised as a powerful civic tool in service of contemporary civil and political struggles for minority recognition, rights, and representation in North America. Crossing borders and queering citizenship reimagines the contours of contemporary citizenship by connecting queer and citizenship theories to the idea of an engaged reading subject. This book offers a new approach to studying the act of reading, theorises reading as an integral element of the basic unit of the state: the citizen. By theorising the act of reading across borders as a civic act that queers citizenship, the book advances an alternative model of belonging through civic readerly engagement. Exploring work by seven US, Mexican, Canadian, and Indigenous authors, including Gloria Anzaldúa, Dorothy Allison, Gregory Scofield, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Erín Moure, Junot Díaz, and Yann Martel, the book offers sensitive interpretations of how reading can create citizenship practices that foreground and value recognition, rights, and representation for all members of a political system.

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Solo performance in neoliberal times
Author: Stephen Greer

This book is a study of solo performance in the UK and Western Europe since the turn of millennium that explores the contentious relationship between identity, individuality and the demands of neoliberalism. With case studies drawn from across theatre, cabaret, comedy and live art – and featuring artists, playwrights and performers as varied as La Ribot, David Hoyle, Neil Bartlett, Bridget Christie and Tanja Ostojić – it provides an essential account of the diverse practices which characterise contemporary solo performance, and their significance to contemporary debates concerning subjectivity, equality and social participation.

Beginning in a study of the arts festivals which characterise the economies in which solo performance is made, each chapter animates a different cultural trope – including the martyr, the killjoy, the misfit and the stranger – to explore the significance of ‘exceptional’ subjects whose uncertain social status challenges assumed notions of communal sociability. These figures invite us to re-examine theatre’s attachment to singular lives and experiences, as well as the evolving role of autobiographical performance and the explicit body in negotiating the relationship between the personal and the political.

Informed by the work of scholars including Sara Ahmed, Zygmunt Bauman and Giorgio Agamben, this interdisciplinary text offers an incisive analysis of the cultural significance of solo performance for students and scholars across the fields of theatre and performance studies, sociology, gender studies and political philosophy.

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The Difficult Comedy of Hannah Gadsby: Nanette
Olu Jenzen

This article concerns itself with feminist comedy that is deemed angry and difficult in an era of postfeminism. Hannah Gadsby’s live show Nanette, released as a Netflix film, can be described as difficult because it is politically challenging, emotionally demanding and disrupts the established format of stand-up comedy. Yet it has had critical and commercial success. Nanette challenges the underpinning assumption of postfeminism: that feminism is no longer needed. It is feminist and angry. To explore the phenomenon of angry feminist comedy in the postfeminist era, the article considers the comedy of Gadsby through the figure of the feminist killjoy, coined by Sara Ahmed, to reflect how the killjoy and the queer art of failing offer forms of political ‘sabotage’ that subvert comedy as masculinist popular culture.

Film Studies
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The social and the sexual in interwar Britain
Matt Houlbrook

In this chapter I want to argue for the importance of thinking queer in our practice as historians. Engaging with what I see as a persistent tendency in recent work on modern British same-sexualities, I tease out the possibilities opened up by shifting our definition of queer from a position to a process; from a mode of sexual selfhood – however unstable – to a set of critical practices; from something we consider our subjects to be, to something we do. In so doing I draw upon Laura Doan’s recent work, particularly the challenging reading of

in British queer history
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Peter Barry

Introduction Queer theory emerged prominently as a distinct field only by the 1990s – there is nothing about it, for instance, in Terry Eagleton's Literary Theory: An Introduction (1983), or in the first edition of Raman Selden's A Reader's Guide to Contemporary Literary Theory (1985). As with women's studies twenty years before, the growing significance and acceptance of this new field is indicated by the presence of ‘queer theory’ sections in many mainstream bookshops and publishers’ academic catalogues, and by the establishment of relevant

in Beginning theory (fourth edition)
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Mental nurses and their patients, 1935–74
Author: Tommy Dickinson

Anecdotal evidence of the testimonies of patients who received treatments for sexual deviations and medical attitudes towards them are scattered in the recorded accounts of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, intersex and queer/questioning (GLBTIQ) people. This book examines the plight of men who were institutionalised in British mental hospitals to receive 'treatment' for homosexuality and transvestism, and the perceptions and actions of the men and women who nursed them. It explores why the majority of the nurses followed orders in administering the treatment - in spite of the zero success-rate in 'straightening out' queer men - but also why a small number surreptitiously defied their superiors by engaging in fascinating subversive behaviours. The book is specifically about the treatments developed for sexual deviations in the UK. Transvestism was also treated fairly widely; however, not to the same extent as homosexuality. After an examination of the oppression and suppression of the sexual deviant, the introduction of aversion therapies for sexual deviance is considered. During the 1930s-1950s, mental health care witnessed a spirit of 'therapeutic optimism' as new somatic treatments and therapies were introduced in mental hospitals. The book also examines the impact these had on the role of mental nurses and explores how such treatments may have essentially normalised nurses to implement painful and distressing 'therapeutic' interventions . The book interprets the testimonies of these 'subversive nurses'. Finally, it explores the inception of 'nurse therapists' and discusses their role in administering aversion therapy.

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Andy Warhol, Fred Herko, and the A-Men
Paisid Aramphongphan

no instrumental reason at all; doing things that make no sense, are not efficient, that provide no yield—this line of thinking about expenditure, surplus, and excess, short-circuiting the rendement , has helped shape much of my thinking about the horizontality of queer embodiment in the 1960s. In this chapter, I foreground how this inefficient use of time and labor also extends to the realm of everyday sociality. The San Remo Cafe, frequented in the early 1960s by Herko and friends known as the A-Men (A for amphetamine), is an exemplary site in this regard. Even

in Horizontal together
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Jasmina Tumbas

The most sexually transgressive decade of socialist Yugoslavia, the 1980s, was a time when challenging compulsory heterosexuality politics and attendant gender roles became central to performative art practices in the alternative cultural scenes of Ljubljana. Questions of feminist and queer sexuality were a pervasive subtext and were often extremely overt themes in art, popular culture, and activism in the Yugoslav republic of Slovenia, with the punk as well as gay and lesbian underground scenes in Ljubljana marking a decisively political

in “I am Jugoslovenka!”
Open Access (free)
Female sexual agency and male victims
Jenny DiPlacidi

described by scholars such as George E. Haggerty in Queer Gothic ( 2006 ), Luce Irigaray in This Sex Which is Not One ( 1977 ) and Michel Foucault in The History of Sexuality (1976). Examining the intersections of sexuality and power within the representations of mother–son incest in the Gothic reveals the complexities of the radical destabilisations of gender and heteronormativity occurring

in Gothic incest
Communist sexuality in the flow during and after the Cold War
Author: Bogdan Popa

"An influential concept in North American queer studies, gender has been forged as part of the anti-communist Cold War and became one of its key analytics at the beginning of the 1990s. In tracing the conceptual history of gender, this book de-centers queer studies and provides an innovative approach by excavating a rival communist sexuality during the Cold War. As opposed to a theory of gender, eastern European Marxism generated a revolutionary imagination that had at its core a dialectical understanding of bodies and sexual acts. This communist understanding of sexuality centered on a productive body that was better able to feel and live than its capitalist counterpart.

The book is original not only because it analyzes competitive models of Cold War sexuality, but also because it inserts historical materialism into queer theory. By drawing on materials from socialist theory, queer studies and communist films, it moves from the 1920s to the 1950s to the 1990s to understand the emergence of contemporary sexual categories. It traces the rise of gender and queer by studying the shared and complicated history of communist history and queer theory. It also provides a new dialectical method by juxtaposing socialist theory and films with queer anti-racist theory. In doing so, it offers a sensuous materiality that transforms the epistemology of a queer of color analytic. The book is an essential contribution to a scholarship that interrogates queer liberalism and new formations of anti-gender ideology.