11 thoughts on “Reader Query: Queer Philosophy

  1. Judith Butler is one of my favourites, of which Undoing Gender is accessible, beautiful… (I wouldn’t suggest Undoing Gender as then you’d have to read Bodies that Matter, and also it’s 20 years old now).

    Sabina Lovibond I’ve been reading a small bit lately – Ethical Formations. Not queer philosophy exactly, but I found very nice for thinking about queer through her.

    Julia Serrano’s Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity I think is a must. I would put her and Judith on any queer reading list.

    Some I haven’t read but ended up on my list and might be relevant: Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation, S. Bear Bergman; maybe also Invisible Lives: The Erasure of Transsexual and Transgendered People by Viviane Namaste, but might be too specific.

  2. Naomi Scheman’s “Queering the Center by Centering the Queer” (in Diana Meyers’ _Feminists Rethink the Self_) is lucid, refreshing, and has helped many students understand how queer studies is not (what they may have thought of as) “gay identity politics”.

    I’d also recommend including queer ecology, such as Catriona Sandilands, “Mother Earth, the Cyborg, and the Queer” (NWSA 1997), and Alex Johnson, “How to Queer Ecology: One Goose at a Time” (Orion 2011). Especially significant and intriguing questions come up by introducing queer studies where “nature” has been the traditional point of reference.

  3. I love some of the recommendations already provided.

    If you’re looking for a way to begin reading and thinking about essentialism/constructionism about sexual orientation, I’d highly recommend Edward Stein’s book “The Mismeasure of Desire.”

    If you’re looking for some reading material on the issue of same-sex marriage and discussion on its pros and cons among the queer community, I’d recommend Claudia Card’s articles “Against Marriage and Motherhood” and “Gay Divorce,” both appearing in Hypatia. There’s also an older classic article written by Paula Ettelbrick called “Since when is marriage a path to liberation?” For pieces more sympathetic to same-sex marriage, I’d recommend Richard Mohr’s book “The Long Arc of Justice.”

  4. If you google “Foucault and Queer Theory,” one of the top five hits is always the pdf of the short work by the same title, and it’s a good introduction to Foucault, to queery theory, and to other authors like Gayle Rubin.

  5. Richard Mohr’s Gay Ideas is really good. If I had to cherry pick, “The outing controversy: privacy and dignity in gay ethics” is really nice, and “”Knight, young men, boys”: masculine worlds and democratic values” pairs really well with Sarah Hoagland’s “Lesbian Ethics”. (Both articulate a political vison centered on gay male and lesbian (resp.) relationships.)

  6. i highly recommend sara ahmed. i recently read her books: _queer phenomenology_, _the promise of happiness_, and _the cultural politics of emotion_. all of them were excellent and very engaging.

  7. I would say Foucault’s History of Sexuality, Vol. 1 for framework. McWhorter’s Bodies and Pleasures is also great and is a helpful secondary source on Foucault. And then I would also add Dorothy Allison’s Skin: Talking about Sex, Class, and Literature; Gayle Rubin’s article ““Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality;” Pat Califia’s Public Sex; and Judith Halberstam’s In a Queer Time and Place as other good introductory materials.

  8. Everything survivor, abd said, but I found that when I taught the subject, my students found that “Foucault and Queer Theory” introduction a more accessible on-ramp to reading actual Foucault. Cheers!

  9. I would recommend Cheshire Calhoun’s “Feminism, the Family, and the Politics of the Closet: Lesbian & Gay Displacement”, Oxford University Press, 2000.

  10. I would say that some of the key writers and thinkers when it comes to Queer Theory is Judith Butler, Michel Foucault and Sara Ahmed that people before me has recommended; but also Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Lauren Berlant, Jasbir K. Puar, David M. Halperin, Sharon Patricia Holland, Lee Edelman and E. Patrick Johnson to mention a few.

    I would also recommend reading some Julia Kristeva, bell hooks, Monique Wittig and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak!


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