Cover image for Queer ideas : the David R. Kessler lectures in lesbian and gay studies
Queer ideas : the David R. Kessler lectures in lesbian and gay studies
City University of New York. Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies.
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : The Feminist Press at the City University of New York, 2003.
Physical Description:
215 pages ; 23 cm
Electronic Access:
Publisher description

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
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HQ75.16.U6 Q43 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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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.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

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 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Martin DubermanAlisa Solomon and Paisley CurrahJoan NestleEdmund WhiteBarbara SmithMonique WittigEsther NewtonSamuel R. DelanyEve Kosofsky SedgwickJohn D'EmilioCherrie MoragaJudith Butler
Forewordp. 1
Introductionp. 5
"I Lift My Face to the Hill": The Life of Mabel Hampton as Told by a White Woman 1992p. 21
The Personal Is Political: Queer Fiction and Criticism 1993p. 41
African American Lesbian and Gay History: An Exploration 1994p. 51
Reading and Comments: Virgile, non/Across the Acheron 1995p. 63
My Butch Career: A Memoir 1996p. 81
... 3, 2, 1, Contact 1997p. 99
A Dialogue on Love 1998p. 137
A Biographer and His Subject: Wrestling with Bayard Rustin 1999p. 169
A Xicanadyke Codex of Changing Consciousness 2000p. 185
Global Violence, Sexual Politics 2001p. 197
Permissions Acknowledgmentsp. 215