Magazine article Feminist Collections: A Quarterly of Women's Studies Resources

Donald E. Hall & Annamarie Jagose, Eds., the Routledge Queer Studies Reader

Magazine article Feminist Collections: A Quarterly of Women's Studies Resources

Donald E. Hall & Annamarie Jagose, Eds., the Routledge Queer Studies Reader

Article excerpt

Donald E. Hall & Annamarie Jagose, eds., THE ROUTLEDGE QUEER STUDIES READER. New York: Routledge, 2013. 608p. $135.00, ISBN 978-0415564103; pap., $49.95, ISBN 978-0415564113.

In 1993, Routledge published its original Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader. While not the first book to address lesbian and gay identities, cultures, and politics, it was the largest collection of writings from those on the forefront of lesbian and gay studies. This book spoke to me as a budding lesbian who wore an ACT UP t-shirt and worshipped the Indigo Girls, an undergraduate alive during a time when universities developed their first centers and programs for Lesbian and Gay--then eventually Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender--Studies. My university did not offer such courses, so The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader, readily available in our university library, became an unofficial "textbook" for me on gay and lesbian visibility and existence, and a call for activism. Today, the classic Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader is a historical document--a snapshot of AIDS, lesbian separatism, gays and lesbians in other cultures, homophobia, gender, and other queer realities as they were identified by academics in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Twenty years later, two well-established queer theorists--American Donald E. Hall and Australian Annamarie Jagose--decided to pay homage to the Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader by compiling a seminal queer studies text for the twenty-first century. The new Routledge Queer Studies Reader contains contemporary writings from veteran queer theorists Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Judith Butler, David M. Halperin (editor of the previous Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader), and Judith Halberstam, but Hall and Jagose also took great pains to include works from up-and-coming queer theorists of color and queer disability theorists. Major focuses of this book include definitions of queer and queer theory, intersecting identities, transgender theory, and heteronormativity--concepts that had not yet solidified into words and action in 1993, but are now part of mainstream academic discourse. …

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