To better understand the shift in activist politics and policy—from rejection of marriage as an institution to lobbying for same-sex couples’ right to marry—by gay and lesbian rights organizations, read The Nuptial Deal: Same-Sex Marriage and Neo-Liberal Governance by Jay Cee Whitehead.
Whitehead’s argument parallels the transformation that occurred in the minds of activists and ordinary citizens with the rise of neo-liberalism, ultimately arguing that the federal government’s resistance to same-sex marriage stems not from “traditional values” but from fear of exposing marriage as a form of governance rather than a natural expression of human intimacy.
To better grasp the pattern of waxing and waning same-sex marriage has faced in terms of public visibility—and to comprehend how policy cycles and political opportunity have characterized debates since the 1996 passing of the Defense of Marriage Act—read The Politics of Same-Sex Marriage, edited by Craig A. Rimmerman and Clyde Wilcox.
The Politics of Same-Sex Marriage brings together an esteemed list of scholars who consider how court rulings and local legislatures have kept the issue alive in the political sphere, and conservatives and gay rights advocates have made the issue a key battlefield in . . .
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The 2012 class of Guggenheim Fellows was announced this week by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, inciting some exuberant responses on the part of several winners (check out Terry Teachout’s Twitter feed). The Guggenheim has long been hailed as the “mid-career award,” honoring scholars, scientists, poets, artists, and writers, who have likely published a book or three, professed a fair amount of research, and are actively engaged in projects of significant scope. The fellowship possesses some tortured origins—(John) Simon Guggenheim, who served as president of the American Smelting and Refining Company and Republican senator from Colorado, seeded the award (1925) following the death of this son John (1922) from mastoiditis (Guggenheim’s second son George later committed suicide, and more infamously his older brother Benjamin went down with the Titanic).
Among this year’s crop (we dare say more forward-leaning than previous years?) is a roster of standout “professionals who have demonstrated exceptional ability by publishing a significant body of work in the fields of natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and the creative arts,” affiliated with the University of Chicago Press:
Christian Wiman, editor of Poetry magazine and author of three poetry collections, coeditor of . . .
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In Freaks Talk Back: Tabloid Talk Shows and Sexual Nonconformity author Joshua Gamson digs deep into the complex sexual politics of one of the most influential forces in modern American media—daytime TV talkshows. Using extensive interviews, hundreds of transcripts, focus-group discussions with viewers, and his own experiences as an audience member, Gamson argues that talk shows give much-needed, high-impact public visibility to sexual nonconformists while also exacerbating all sorts of political tensions among those becoming visible. With wit and passion, Freaks Talk Back illuminates the joys, dilemmas, and practicalities of media visibility—and for the month of June only, you can download it free from the University of Chicago Press website.
Also, read an interview with the author and an excerpt from the book.
Check back each month for more free e-books from the University of Chicago Press or for all our currently available e-books, see our complete list of e-books by subject.
E-books from the University of Chicago Press are offered in Adobe Digital Editions format for Mac, PC, and a number of mobile devices such as the Sony Reader, IREX, BeBook, and more. Check out these links to find out more about Adobe Digital Editions or more about . . .
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The finalists for the Lambda Literary Awards, which celebrate the best lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans books available in the United States, were announced yesterday, and the University of Chicago Press has three titles among the nominees. The “Lammy” is the most prestigious award given to books of interest to the LGBT community, and we’re honored to have our books recognized. And the nominees are…:
For the category of LGBT Studies, we have two contenders:
Deborah B. Gould
Moving Politics: Emotion and ACT UP’s Fight against AIDS
In the late 1980s, after a decade spent engaged in more routine interest-group politics, thousands of lesbians and gay men responded to the AIDS crisis by defiantly and dramatically taking to the streets. But by the early 1990s, the organization they founded, ACT UP, was no more—even as the AIDS epidemic raged on. Weaving together interviews with activists, extensive research, and reflections on the author’s time as a member of the organization, Moving Politics is the first book to chronicle the rise and fall of ACT UP, highlighting a key factor in its trajectory: emotion.
Surprisingly overlooked by many scholars of social movements, emotion, Gould argues, plays a fundamental role in . . .
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Greenwich Village. Harlem. Bronzeville. Even in this freewheeling, globalized age, the names of these iconic neighborhoods still conjure up an atmosphere of glamour, excitement, and illicit thrills. But long before today’s teens or even yesterday’s beatniks wandered their streets, these neighborhoods exercised a powerful attraction for upright members of the middle class looking for dissipation and disreputable fun.
With Slumming, Chad Heap brings these early havens of hip to life, recreating the long-lost nightlife of early twentieth-century New York and Chicago. From jazz clubs and speakeasies to black-and-tan parties and cabarets, Heap packs Slumming with vivid scenes, fascinating characters, and wild anecdotes of a late-night life on the borders of the forbidden. And while he doesn’t ignore the role of exploitation and voyeurism in slumming—or the resistance it often provoked—he argues that the relatively uninhibited mingling it promoted across bounds of race and class helped to dramatically recast the racial and sexual landscape of burgeoning U.S. cities.
The unforgettable tale of an urban past that continues to resonate in our day, Slumming is a late-night treat for all urbanites and fans of the demi-monde.
Read the press release or read the introduction.
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The California Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments today on Proposition 8, the successful ballot measure that amended the state’s constitution to ban gay marriage. The Los Angeles Times reports that supporters of gay marriage “seek to overturn Proposition 8 by saying it isn’t a constitutional amendment at all, but a constitutional revision that should have been required to go through a much more rigorous process to become law.”
Whatever the court decides, it seems safe to predict that this is only one of many battles to come between two sides of an issue that—as the authors of The Politics of Same-Sex Marriage point out—has waxed and waned in the public sphere since the passing of the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act. In fact, same-sex couples filed suit Tuesday against the federal government over portions of the act. The suit is expected to take several years to make its way through the federal court system—which leaves a lot of time for reading up on the issue in the meantime.
The Politics of Same-Sex Marriage, a great place to start, brings together an esteemed list of scholars to explore all facets of this heated issue, including the ideologies . . .
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A couple of months ago, we noted that Chicago’s Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame planned to induct Jane Addams, whose life story Louise Knight vividly recounts in Citizen: Jane Addams and the Struggle for Democracy.
In commemoration of that honor, the new Lambda Literary Salon features an essay by Louise Knight, which eloquently explores the role of love in Addams’s life.
“I believe that love was Jane Addams’s most absorbing passion,” Knight writes. “She was one of those rare people who was thinking about the importance of love all the time—not always succeeding in being loving, of course, but steadily trying.” Focusing in particular on Addams’s experiences with romantic, intimate love, Knight concludes that “it has been a revelation and a joy to learn about the remarkable contributions gay men and lesbian women have made to the United States. We all want to see ourselves reflected in the great accomplishments of history; now, finally, the gay and lesbian communities are beginning to be able to have that deeply human satisfaction. Jane Addams, too, belongs to lesbian history.”
For more reading, we also have an excerpt from Citizen: Jane Addams and the Struggle for Democracy.
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Sunday marked what would have been the 103rd birthday of the eldest daughter of novelist Thomas Mann. Erika Mann, born November 9, 1905, was a writer in her own right, though her father’s fame overshadowed her own accomplishments in her lifetime. More recently, however, Andrea Weiss has restored Erika, and her brother Klaus, to their rightful places in the spotlight.
In the Shadow of Magic Mountain: The Erika and Klaus Mann Story is an intimate portrait of Mann’s two eldest children, who were unconventional, rebellious, and fiercely devoted to each other. Empowered by their close bond, they espoused vehemently anti-Nazi views in a Europe swept up in fascism and were openly, even defiantly, gay in an age of secrecy and repression. They were serious authors, performance artists before the medium existed, and political visionaries whose searing essays and lectures are still relevant today. And, as Andrea Weiss reveals in this dual biography, their story offers a fascinating view of the literary and intellectual life, political turmoil, and shifting sexual mores of their times.
In the Shadow of Magic Mountain was the lead review in the November 6 London Review of Books and has been praised by the late John Leonard . . .
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Jane Addams, whose fascinating life Louise Knight chronicles in Citizen: Jane Addams and the Struggle for Democracy, will be inducted this fall into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame. Chicago’s’ Advisory Council on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues recently announced the nomination as part of its list of individuals and organizations up for inclusion in the only known government-sponsored hall of fame that honors members of the LGBT communities.
Read up on Addam’s accomplishments before the November induction by checking out this excerpt from Citizen. Or track her legacy by reading recent invocations of these achievements by political commentators tracing the genealogies of Barack Obama’s community organizing and Sarah Palin’s feminism.
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