Augmenting recent developments in theories of gender and sexuality, this anthology marks a compelling new phase in queer scholarship. Navigating notions of silence, misunderstanding, pleasure, and even affects of phobia in artworks and texts, the essays in this volume propose new and surprising ways of understanding the difficulty—even failure—of the epistemology of the closet. By treating "queer" not as an identity but as an activity, this book represents a divergence from previous approaches associated with Lesbian and Gay Studies. The authors in this anthology refute the interpretive ease of binaries such as "out" versus "closeted" and "gay" versus "straight," and recognize a more opaque relationship of identity to pleasure. The essays range in focus from photography, painting, and film to poetry, Biblical texts, lesbian humor, and even botany. Evaluating the most recent critical theories and introducing them in close examinations of objects and texts, this book queers the study of verse and visual culture in new and exciting ways.
Table of Contents
Introduction Difficult Queers, Queer Difficulties
1. Bohemians of the Vegetable World
2. The Consequences of Dating Don Leon
3. The Song of Songs for Difficult Queers: Simeon Solomon, Neil Bartlett, and A Vision of Love Revealed in Sleep
4. Ingres’s Line
5. "I Am a Photographer, Not a Lesbian": Berenice Abbott’s Visibility
Tirza True Latimer
6. Naked Politics: The Art of Eros 1955-1975
7. The Blatant Image, Lesbian Identity, and Visual Pleasure
8. For/Against Homoeroticism: Posing Difficulty for the Habitual Decoders of Desire
Nicholas de Villiers
9. Ladies Almanack showing their Satire and Irony; Sorrow and Sentimentality; Ridiculousness in Relation to Sexual Identity; as well as reflections on Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home—Or, Notes not on Camp
10. Now and (N)ever: Robert Gober’s Beeswax Time Machines
Jongwoo Jeremy Kim
11. Hip Openers: On the Visuals of Gendering Athleticism
12. The Perils and Pleasures of Drinking in Will Self and Herman Melville
Jongwoo Jeremy Kim is Associate Professor of Art History at the Hite Art Institute at the University of Louisville, USA. Painted Men in Britain, 1868–1918: Royal Academicians and Masculinities (2012) is his first book.
Christopher Reed is Liberal Arts Research Professor of English and Visual Culture at the Pennsylvania State University, USA. His books include Bachelor Japanists: Japanese Aesthetics and Western Masculinities (2016), Art and Homosexuality: A History of Ideas (2011), the co-authored If Memory Serves: Gay Men, AIDS, and the Promise of the Queer Past (2012), Bloomsbury Rooms: Modernism, Subculture, and Domesticity (2004), and the anthology Not at Home: The Suppression of Domesticity in Modern Art and Architecture (1996).