“Mainstream Fiction, Gay Reviewers, and Gay Male Cultural Politics in the 1970s,” GLQ: A Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies 16, no. 3 (2010): 389-427. Read online (PDF).* Abstract:
An analysis of gay male reviewers’ responses to major commercial publishers’ expanded offerings of fiction by and about gay people during the 1970s reveals how reviewers constructed a machinery of gay-identified criticism, negotiated new definitions of gay identity, and forged a community of gay intellectuals and authors intent on using their own mainstream success to make evident to all the creativity and value of contemporary gay life. By decade’s end, this gay literary elite had developed ideas about gay cultural politics and the proper relationship between activism and commercial cultural production that differed distinctly from those of gay political organizations and other gay activists. These developments sketch a richer and more complicated story of the evolution of gay identity and gay politics—particularly the politics of visibility—after Stonewall.
Review of Heather Murray, Not in This Family: Gays and the Meaning of Kinship in Postwar North America, in Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 47, no. 4 (Fall 2011). Read online (subscription required).
- “Observing this Memorial Day,” Harvard University Press Blog (May 24, 2013)
- “Boy Scouts in America: Or, Scrutiny in the Archive,” guest post at The Lazy Scholar (September 1, 2010)
- “Divided States #3: Connecticut Connections,” guest post at The Lazy Scholar (July 28, 2010)
In 2010-2011, I used this website to blog semi-regularly about my then-current research, contemporary politics and culture, LGBT issues, and other topics related to my academic interests. Here are some highlights (or click for the full archive):
- Some reflections on following the AHA on Twitter (January 10, 2011)
- The color of Scouting during World War II (September 1, 2010)
- When country music, regional resentment, and gender politics collide (August 22, 2010)
- Tough questions (June 9, 2010)
- ‘Colorful administrations’ (May 6, 2010)
“Visibility Matters: Fair Representation and American Belonging in the Age of the Moving Image,” Ph.D. dissertation, Yale University. In the twentieth-century United States, numerous men and women of marginalized social groups that were excluded from both full citizenship and informal social incorporation fervently believed that changing moving images—especially the commercialized entertainment offered by motion pictures and television—offered a way to knit themselves into the fabric of the nation by transforming the attitudes of the majority. My dissertation offers a comprehensive history of this belief; the numerous and varied efforts it inspired, from confrontational protests and consumer boycotts to political lobbying and informal negotiation; and the impassioned and often-colorful individuals, both famous and unknown, who led them. This history newly reveals the strikingly central role culture played in defining the terms of American citizenship in the twentieth century.
* This article is publicly archived here according to the terms of the Duke University Press Journals publication agreement.