An essential text documenting the foundation and rise of queer theory.
The David R. Kessler Lectures, established in 1992 by CLAGS: Center for LGBTQ Studies at CUNY, represent the cutting edge of queer studies in the United States. Years before LGBTQ studies had found a foothold in American academia, the Kessler Lectures celebrated dynamic and diverse inquiries into queer thought, community, and politics.
Twenty years after its initial publication, Queer Ideas collects the first ten historic Kessler Lectures by influential scholars, writers, and activists including Cherríe Moraga, Samuel R. Delany, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and Barbara Smith, with a new foreword by CLAGS Executive Director Matt Brim and Board Co-Chairs James Harris and Laura Westengard. Alongside the second volume, Queer Then and Now: The David R. Kessler Lectures, 2002–2020, this revised edition of Queer Ideas traces the early foundations of the field and provides a new opportunity to revisit an essential collection of queer and trans thought.
Foreword by Martin Duberman
Introduction by Alisa Solomon and Paisley Currah
1992, Joan Nestle - “I Lift My Face to the Hill”: The Life of Mabel Hampton as Told by a White Woman
1993, Edmund White - The Personal Is Political: Queer Fiction and Criticism
1994, Barbara Smith - African American Lesbian and Gay History: An Exploration
1995, Monique Wittig - Reading and Comments: Virgile, Non/Across the Acheron
1996, Esther Newton - My Butch Career: A Memoir
1997, Samuel R. Delany - …3, 2, 1, Contact
1998, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick - A Dialogue on Love
1999, John D’Emilio - A Biographer and His Subject: Wrestling with Bayard Rustin
2000, Cherríe Moraga - A Xicanadyke Codex of Changing Consciousness
2001, Judith Butler - Global Violence, Sexual Politics
The Center for LGBTQ Studies (CLAGS), located at the City University of New York, Graduate Center, was founded in 1991 and is the first university-based research center in the United States dedicated to the study of historical, cultural, and political issues of vital concern to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals and communities.
Judith Butler is Distinguished Professor in the Graduate School at the University of California, Berkeley, where they have taught in Critical Theory and Comparative Literature. They are the author of several books, which have been translated into more than twenty-seven languages, and the recipient of thirteen honorary degrees. Butler is active in several human rights organizations, having served on the board of the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York and presently on the advisory board of Jewish Voice for Peace. They were the recipient of the Andrew Mellon Award for Distinguished Academic Achievement in the Humanities (2009-13), were elected as a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy in 2018, and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2019. In 2020, they served as President of the Modern Language Association. They are presently teaching as a Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the New School University.
Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is a national, grassroots organization inspired by Jewish tradition to work for a just and lasting peace according to principles of human rights, equality, and international law for all the people of Israel and Palestine. JVP has over 200,000 online supporters, over 60 chapters, a youth wing, a Rabbinic Council, an Artist Council, an Academic Advisory Council, and an Advisory Board made up of leading U.S. intellectuals and artists.
Judith Butler is Maxine Elliot Professor in the Departments of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of The Psychic Life of Power, Excitable Speech, Bodies that Matter, Gender Trouble, Frames of War, and with Slavoj Zizek and Ernesto Laclau, Contingency, Hegemony, Universality.
Cherríe Moraga is an internationally recognized poet, essayist, and playwright whose professional life began in 1981 with her co-editorship of the groundbreaking feminist anthology, This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color. She is the author of several collections of her own writings, including A Xicana Codex of Changing Consciousness, Native Country of the Heart, and Waiting in the Wings: Portrait of a Queer Motherhood.
"This book is sharp, clear, and terrifically moving: the book's introduction and contributors remind us of the centrality of articulation to the project of liberation. We have written our way out of the depths of oppression and we have a long, long way to go." —Tony Kushner, author of Angels in America
"Rarely can you see history being made. With this book, you will see an outrageous idea—LGBTQ studies, queer studies—happen before your eyes. You will see here how it grows, with new insights being created, criticized, dreamed, defended, remade. By the end of this book you will understand why it remains so vital and animated and insistent. And why it continues to go forward." —Amber Hollibaugh, author ofMy Dangerous Desires: A Queer Girl Dreaming Her Way Home
"Brave and brilliant, fabulous and deep, these ten visionary thinkers teach us how queer ideas can and must and do reshape the world." —David L. Eng, author ofRacial Castration: Managing Masculinity in Asian America
"These essays explore how LGBTQ people at once belong and transform, how we are both central to and distinct from the mainstream in US society. The result is an eloquent, fresh book." —Urvashi Vaid, author ofVirtual Equality: The Mainstreaming of Gay and Lesbian Liberation