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LGBT Textbook Suggestions

The following discussion, which took place on WMST-L in September 2008, offers
suggestions for an LGBT textbook for use in a course on LGBT cultures or LGBT
history.  For additional WMST-L files now available on the Web, see the
WMST-L File Collection.
Date: Sun, 7 Sep 2008 19:13:14 -0500
From: milton <milton AT KU.EDU>
Subject: Query: LGBT textbook?
Does anyone have recommendations for a textbook (or edited collection) for a
course on LGBT cultures / LGBT history generally? 

I'd welcome ideas in re 'lesbian&gay studies' or 'queer theory,' but I'm really
thinking something more along the lines of the various 'introduction to women's
studies' type textbooks that are out there.

I've used various books and articles; I'm thinking next semester I'd like a
single textbook or collection.

Thank you in advance.

On-list or off-list to milton  AT  ku.edu, as appropriate.

Milton Wendland
Univ of Kansas
Date: Sun, 7 Sep 2008 17:34:46 -0700
From: Barbara Scott Winkler <winklerb AT CHARTER.NET>
Subject: Re: Query: LGBT textbook?
Milton, could you please make the responses available to the list?  Most of
what I have used is, I think, dated, even Hidden From History: Reclaiming
the Gay and Lesbian Past edited by Martin Duberman, Martha Vicinus and
George Chauncey, Jr. which, however, is still useful in my course on the
history of sexuality in the U.S. (although published in 1989) because it is
historically focused.

Thanks, Barbara Scott Winkler,  Women's Studies, Southern Oregon Univ.,
winklerb  AT  sou.edu or winklerb  AT  charter.net
Date: Sun, 7 Sep 2008 20:56:50 -0400
From: Reese Kelly <rck517 AT GMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: Query: LGBT textbook?
It's not a reader/textbook, but I highly recommend the book
Transgender_History by Susan Stryker.  It is only about 150 pages and
has a great introduction that discusses terminology, which helps to
serve as a primer to transgender studies as well.


Reese Carey Kelly
Doctoral Candidate
Department of Sociology
University at Albany, SUNY
Date: Mon, 8 Sep 2008 09:32:40 -0400
From: "Detloff, Madelyn M. Dr." <detlofmm AT MUOHIO.EDU>
Subject: Re: LGBT textbook
Some possibilities:

We are Everywhere: A Historical sourcebook of Gay and Lesbian Politics, ed.
Mark Blasius and Shane Phelan

Queer Cultures, ed. Deborah Carlin and Jennifer DiGrazia

Queer Studies, ed. Rob Corber and Stephen Valocchi


Madelyn Detloff
Director, Women's Studies Program
Miami University
126 Mac Millan Hall
Oxford, OH 45056
detlofmm  AT  muohio.edu
Date: Mon, 8 Sep 2008 09:47:13 -0500
From: Phyllis Holman Weisbard <pweisbard AT LIBRARY.WISC.EDU>
Subject: LGBT anthology
A bit advanced for an intro, but a very interesting anthology:

 A companion to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer studies /
edited by George E. Haggerty and Molly McGarry. Malden, MA ; Oxford :
Blackwell, 2007. 478p. ISBN 9781405113298

Contents: Sex, secularism, and the "war on terrorism" : the role of
sexuality in multi-issue organizing / Janet R. Jakobsen -- Freedom and the
racialization of intimacy : Lawrence v. Texas and the emergence of queer
liberalism / David L. Eng -- "No atheists in the foxhole" : toward a radical
queer politics in a post-9/11 world / Sharon P. Holland -- Queer love in the
time of war and shopping / Martin F. Manalansan IV -- Who needs civil
liberties? / Richard Meyer -- The relevance of race for the study of
sexuality / Roderick A. Ferguson -- The present future of lesbian
historiography / Valerie Traub -- Deviant teaching / David M. Halperin --
After Sontag : future notes on camp / Ann Pellegrini -- Queer spectrality :
haunting the past / Carla Frecerro -- The desire for gender / Robyn Wiegman
-- Methodologies of trans resistance / Dean Spade -- The history of aphallia
and the intersexual challenge to sex/gender / Vernon A. Rosario -- Gesture
and utterance : fragments from a butch femme archive / Juana Maria Rodriguez
-- Queer               belongings : kinship theory and queer theory /
Elizabeth Freeman -- Forgetting family : queer alternatives to Oedipal
relations / Judith Halberstam -- Between friends  / Jennifer Doyle -- Queer
regions : locating lesbians in Sancharram / Gayatri Gopinath -- The light
that never goes out : butch intimacies and sub-urban sociabilities in
"lesser Los Angeles" / Karen Tongson -- "Serious innovation" : an interview
with Judith Butler / Jordana Rosenberg -- Materiality, pedagogy, and queer
visibility / Amy Villarejo -- Melos, Telos, and me : transpositions of
identity in the rock musical / James Tobias --                 Promising
complicities : on the Sex, Race, and Globalization Project / Miranda Joseph,
David Rubin -- Queerness as horizon : utopian hermeneutics in the face of
gay pragmatism / Jose Esteban Mun¦~Coz.

Phyllis Holman Weisbard, Women's Studies Librarian
University of Wisconsin System
430 Memorial Library, 728 State Street
Madison, WI 53706
pweisbard  AT  library.wisc.edu
Date: Mon, 8 Sep 2008 09:58:47 -0700
From: Kiesa Kay <oleander_cottage AT YAHOO.COM>
Subject: Re: Query: LGBT textbook? AND KANSAS
You're sort of living in a total hotbed of Midwestern lesbianism and gay
activism, so I tend to think that it'd be good to go for the gusto and get into
those primary sources. For heaven's sake, MELISSA ETHERIDGE will be in your
town on Tuesday! Now, somebody in your class -- or a couple somebodies --
really ought to write about that woman's amazing sojourn. One of her best
friends lives near the campus.
What I'm saying here is that while you could do a textbook thing, it'd be SO
MUCH MORE FUN not to do it that way. Get Diane Silver to talk to your classes.
She's AMAZING. I knew her twenty years ago, but I can't imagine that her
brilliance could have dimmed even in two decades.áHer beautiful partner, Patty
Doria, was the first lesbian or gay person in Kansas to have her partner listed
in her obituary in the Lawrence Daily Journal World.
What would you think of doing something a tad different from a regular
textbook? You could take a look at the Lesbian Herstory Archives, maybe, or
assign works from outstanding LBGT authors, instead of the "queer roundup" kind
of thing done in textbooks. What about giving one student Audre Lorde, one
Adrienne Rich, oneáEssex Hemphill,áetc., and have them teach each other from
primary source material -- the writings of folks in the trenches.
Diane Silver, who's right there in your own backyard in Lawrence, Kansas, has
written a sweet primer for people utterly innocent of the need for LGBT rights,
about "The New Civil Rights." It might be worth a look if you're dealing with
novices. It's fabulously easy to read. And you could have your kiddos interview
some of the Big Names in the Region, like the founders of the now-defunct
Spinsters Books and Webbery in Lawrence, Kansas, one of the finest feminist
bookstores ever. And What about KU's own Paul Stephen Lim, and his terrific
play, FIGURES IN CLAY? You have some great resources right THERE.
What about assigning Joann Loulan's LESBIAN SEX? What about having one or two
kids do their work on womyn's music? What about having a couple of kids read
AND THE BAND PLAYED ON and then discuss the death of the author and the fight
for civil rights for AIDS patients?
There's a better approach than textbooks, IMHO, and it's getting to the nitty
gritty. You could have your kiddos discuss THE WORK OF A COMMON WOMAN by Judy
Grahn, or, you know what? You could have one of them discover the roots of
Women's Transitional Care Services in Lawrence, Kansas, which was founded by
radical lesbians but then turned into the social service thing with the advent
of United Way funding.
There's the lesbian overtone to the February Sisters on the KU campus, too; why
were lesbians the first ones to demand child care for women, when most of them
didn't have kids, themselves? Why were they the ones to start a battered
women's shelter when the issue was addressed prominently as a heterosexual one?
And you could get your kids to read COMMON LIVES, LESBIAN LIVES, and SINISTER
WISDOM, and all kinds of good magazines that speak to the changing times.
Use these fabulous resources!
Um, textbook, schmextbook.
who misses Kansas like crazy sometimes
kiesa  AT  oleandercottage.com
Date: Mon, 8 Sep 2008 14:19:13 -0500
From: milton <milton AT KU.EDU>
Subject: Query: LGBT textbook? AND KANSAS
Thank you for all of that encouragement and those ideas.  I relish your
enthusiasm -- what a pleasure to have a such an idea-filled reply! -- although
I must say I feel a little as if you read my question to suggest that I want my
students to buy a textbook (complete with an accompanying instructor's manual
of test-bank questions and pre-designed activities) and then call it a day,
plodding along unaware of the richness of local, often non-canonical, LGBT
history and culture.  Quite the contrary.

I won't go into the readings and activities that my students already do with
the resources you mentioned (and several you didn't), and I won't pretend to
know everything about LGBT issues in Kansas or the midwest but you can rest
assured that my students each semester are immersed in localized issues, from
the February Sisters and the radical politics of the University of Kansas in
the late 60s & early 70s to the hate-mongering Fred Phelps (located in Topeka,
KS, just 30 minutes away from the liberal university town of Lawrence) and the
City of Lawrence's own odd version of a domestic partner registry.  Indeed last
semester, working in conjunction with our Undergraduate Research Librarian, the
KU Center for Service Learning, and the Kenneth Spencer Research Library (with
its treasure of holdings in re radical, socialist, leftist, LGBT, fringe, and
revolutionary literature, zines, publications, and papers), my students did
independent archival research to uncover and elucidate the varieties of LGBT
experience in Kansas; this research will be used as background, contextualizing
information in a still-developing oral history database of LGBT Kansans' lives
and experiences.  The database itself has already drawn international media
coverage and my students' contributions were the subject of favorable campus,
local, and statewide media coverage because of the intense focus on local/state
matters -- and my students completed the course having contributed to the
building and continuing project of documenting and contextualizing LGBT lives
while also gaining organization and information-handling skills that will be
valuable to them in their careers whether within or beyond academia.  Their
research included connecting lesbian feminist bookstores in Lawrence with the
development of domestic violence shelters here; piecing together the struggle
between the university and a student queer group for funding, a struggle that
eventually drew the participation of legal luminary William Kunstler right here
in Lawrence KS; puzzling through the various factors surrounding a gay/lesbian
discrimination clause in Wichita KS and the participation of Anita Bryant's
voice all the way from Miami; exploring the views of same-sex sexuality of the
Kansas Mennonite / Brethern community; relating the connection of the Lesbian &
Gay Rodeo Association to the Kansas City community; discourse analysis of local
and state media coverage in re violence toward gays and lesbians; etc.  As a
graduate teaching assistant (shall I even get started on those job issues?!), I
think I managed to go far beyond the requirements of my job contract and my
students -- and the field of LGBT cultures and history -- benefitted.  I'm sure
you know what it is like for students/people of several genders and sexual
orientations to discover for themselves that not all LGBT progressive history
and action has or continues to take place only in San Fran, NYC, or LA; that
the midwest is not some dreary site of oppression to be 'escaped'; to discover
that yes, we are indeed everywhere (even here in -- surprise! -- the midwest,
and we are indeed acting, mobilizing, living in unique and valuable ways; and
then to be able to critique the telling of history, its inclusions and
exclusions, it processes of canonization and reification, of dismissal and even
willful ignorance of non-coastal-metropolitan locales?  Incredible and

However, localized projects, research, speakers, and readings don't change the
fact that there is an enormous gaping hole in the academic publishing market
for an up-to-date introductory textbook on LGBT history and cultures (US-based,
other-nation based, and/or international) that could serve as a backbone or
spine-text for courses like this (which aren't necessarily about "lesbian and
gay studies" as a discipline or about "queer theory") and which include
students from a variety of backgrounds (i.e., those who have virtually no
knowledge of LGBT issues to those who are well-versed in LGBT issues).  There
are a few books that tend toward satisfying this request and filling this space
(though many are not updated and stop in the mid-to-late 1990s) and a couple of
more recent ones but I still say that an introductory and broadly written
textbook (combining 'textbook-style' introduction/commentary with excerpts of
primary sources) would be an immense contribution to the field -- just as
several 'introduction to women's studies' textbooks are so essential to
introducing students to the varieties and magnititude of feminist and
gender-equity thought and history).  I think such a book would be a wonderful
sort of baseline or reference point for then pursuing exactly the sort of
localized and on the ground work that you suggest.  (One suggestion from
several WMST-Lers was the forthcoming Finding Out: An Intro to LGBT Studies;
another was Vicki Eaklor's Queer America: A GLBT History....)  Perhaps I am
showing my inexperience at teaching but I am struggling to find a way to get
all of my students on the same page with some sort of basic knowledge of terms,
events, people, themes that I can then broaden and enrich with precisely the
sorts of activities you suggested so that they may find their places in this
developing system of change. 

And since this is a list-serv in re the teaching and pedagogy of women's
studies (and related fields), perhaps our email exchange is a perfect
conversation-starting moment:  How DO we combine the local and the non-local in
the classroom?  How do we explore and encourage grassroots action in/beyond the
classroom while also making sure to contextualize it in an historical and/or
theoretical framework?  What strategies and activities can we use to make the
personal political and the political personal, especially for students who are
often unaware of the struggles that have brought us where we are?  I ask that
not as a long-time teacher with a bank of experience but as someone who has
moved from one field (law) into academia and who is generally interested in the
ideas, successes, failures, and insight of others.

Thanks again for your suggestions!  I reply here on the list not because I
disagree with your valuable input but simply to clarify my own approach as most
decidedly NOT a textbook-only sort of instructor and -- more importantly -- to
encourage further input.


Milton W. Wendland, M.A., J.D.
Attorney at Law (New York, Florida, & Dist of Columbia)
Doctoral Student, Program in American Studies &
  Grad Teaching Asst, Dept of Women Gender & Sexuality Studies
The University of Kansas, Lawrence
Date: Tue, 9 Sep 2008 06:37:45 -0400
From: Loraine Hutchins <lorainehutchins AT STARPOWER.NET>
Subject: Re: LGBT new textbook
There is a new LGBT textbook in production, co-edited by Jonathan Alexander,
Deborah Meem and Michele Gibson, via Sage Publications.  It is called
"FINDING OUT: and Intro to LGBT Studies," unless they changed the title and
will be available NEXT semester (not this one).  From what I hear it  truly
is inclusive of the B and T as well as L/G.  He's jfalexan  AT  uci.irvine for
more info.  FYI - Jonathan also  edits the Journal of Bisexuality, published
by Haworth, recently sold to Taylor/Francis.

Date: Tue, 9 Sep 2008 16:17:05 -0500
From: Michael Murphy <mjmurphy AT WUSTL.EDU>
Subject: Re: LGBT anthology
Can I suggest a different/new text I'm trying out this semester:
Ferber/Holcomb/Wentling, eds., The New Basics: Sex, Gender, and Sexuality,
An Anthology (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009). ISBN:0195332896.
Seems aimed at the Intro to Women's/Gender Studies course but with a few
additions I think it'll work for my Intro to GLBTQ class.


Michael J. Murphy, PhD, Lecturer
Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program
Campus Box 1078/222 McMillan Hall
Washington University in St. Louis
Saint Louis, MO 63130-4899 USA
mjmurphy  AT  wustl.edu

"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need."--Cicero
Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2008 12:04:09 -0500
From: milton <milton AT KU.EDU>
Subject: In re LGBT Textbooks (compiled responses)
For those interested, here are the responses I received to my request for
recommendations for a textbook (or edited collection) for a course on LGBT
cultures / LGBT history generally. 
Thanks to all...Milton Wendland / Univ of Kansas

Ferber/Holcomb/Wentling, eds., The New Basics: Sex, Gender, and Sexuality,
An Anthology (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009). ISBN:0195332896.

Meem, Deborah T., Michelle A. Gibson, and Jonathan F. Alexander. Finding
Out: An Introduction to LGBT Studies. Sage Publications, 2008.

American Queer: Now and Then. David Shneer & Caryn Aviv (eds). Paradigm
Publishers (March 30, 2006)

Genderqueer by Nestle, Wilchins, & Howell in conjunction with Queer
Theory/Gender Theory (Riki Wilchins)

We are Everywhere: A Historical Sourcebook of Gay and Lesbian Politics. Ed.
Mark Blasius and Shane Phelan. 1997.

Queer Cultures, ed. Deborah Carlin and Jennifer DiGrazia

Queer Studies, ed. Rob Corber and Stephen Valocchi

A companion to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer studies /
edited by George E. Haggerty and Molly McGarry. Malden, MA ; Oxford :
Blackwell, 2007. 478p. ISBN 9781405113298

Transgender History by Susan Stryker, 2008

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