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In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  528 ratings  ·  30 reviews
In her first book since the critically acclaimed Female Masculinity, Judith Halberstam examines the significance of the transgender body in a provocative collection of essays on queer time and space. She presents a series of case studies focused on the meanings of masculinity in its dominant and alternative forms - especially female and trans-masculinities as they exist wi...more
Paperback, 213 pages
Published January 3rd 2005 by New York University Press (first published January 1st 2005)
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Community Reviews

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lia
At my library, when something is checked out, you can 'request' it. which essentially means that who ever has it, has to bring it back before they were planning to. Since faculty and staff here can check out a book for a year, books get 'requested' a lot. I do it, and it gets done to me. I had to do so with this book, and when I went to pick it up, the girl at the circ desk, said, 'oh YOU'RE the one'. Meaning I was the one who requested the book, and it just so happened, I had requested it away...more
Michael
Some notes:

In A Queer Time and Place (2005), Judith Halberstam offers an analysis of temporality and geography regarding queer texts. She offers that we should "try to think about queerness as an outcome of strange temporalities, imaginative life schedules, and eccentric economic practices," in order to "detach queerness from sexual identity and come closer to understanding Foucault's comment in 'Friendship as a Way of Life' that 'homosexuality threatens people as a 'way of life' rather than as...more
Joe S
This book does what I expect from a good scholarly essay -- prompts some compelling lines of thought, whets my appetite for more and gives a satisfying bibliography for my own exploration. Unfortunately, it does little of what I expect from a good scholarly book, which is mucking around hardcore with one sustained argument until I feel like we've skullf****d it good and proper.

It's a collection of (loosely) related essays. *shrug* Pretty decent as essays go, with the sideways thinking, sharp ins...more
Samuel
There are a lot of really good things about this book - one that really hit home for me was Halberstam's analysis of sexuality and rural life vis a vis the Brandon Teena case. She does a good job critiquing the urban bias found in a lot of queer theory, admits her own past mistakes (a rare and admirable trait in scholars), and affords rural issues about sexuality the nuance and thoughtfulness that they deserve. Plus, her chapter about Austin Powers is funny as shit. It made me remember one of th...more
Andi
Jul 26, 2011 Andi added it
Shelves: review
This book really inspired the transgender look/gaze in popular culture. It helped me see art in a different light.
Patti
I've been meaning to read In a Queer Time and Place for a while, both because of its significant influence within queer theory and, more recently, because I hope to work with Halberstam at USC. The book explores representations of transgender and queer bodies, looking at an expansive range of cultural texts from the 1990s--from fictionalized accounts of the murder of Brandon Teena to the influence of drag king culture on British comedies like Austin Powers to the archive of queercore music. Almo...more
Ninja
Just because I give it three stars out of five does not mean I didn't love it. It was the concepts I loved, not the writing. Because it's an academic book, it was slow going and plodding. Like all works written by some academics, the sentences can be dense and full of meaning that require multiple reads of the same sentence or paragraph. I hate having to look up words like liminal, preliminal, hegemony, deconstructionism, and postmodernism. It makes my head hurt. But look them up I did, if only...more
Sidewalk_Sotol
This book puts as more questions into your head than it answers regarding media presentations of queer people and the production of queer-centric media. While academic, Halberstam does a reasonable job of making it accessible - at least to bachelor's degree-college-educated.

Noteworthy is the chapters on framing of the Matthew Shephard story - the urbanized nature of middle class activist queers creates a bias in how we look at queer people who grew up in and remain in rural areas. Also, notewor...more
Mandy
Super interesting, though far from perfect (particularly in regards to the urban bias that Halberstam admits to having, but that persists nonetheless). I read the first two chapters for a class months ago and just now, post-semester, found the time to finish it.

Halberstam's definitions of queer time and queer space in chapter 1 were, for me and my research/"research," the most useful parts of this book. Subsequent chapters explore those topics in a lot of provocative and unexpected ways (Brando...more
Rj
My thoughts are crowded with death and it draws so oddly on the sexual that I am confused/confused to be attracted by, in effect, my own annihilation.
Thom Gunn. A In Time of Plague (1993), 59, cited in Judith Halberstam, 2.
Gabriel Gaybraham
ditto, Summer of Reading ~Theory~ Way Too Slowly on the MetroNorth and the Staten Island Ferry
Emily Cait
This was a fairly helpful resource for my examination of the film Boys Don't Cry.
Audrey
halberstam's accessible writing and tangible examples are what i aspire to i think
i mean, she brings up gap stretch fabric in terms of gender fluidity!

queer lives inhabit queer space and time. the expectations of a long-term (hetero) monogomous relationship (marriage) effects the way people think about time - how long they have to do certain things, the risks they allow themselves to make.

i thought i was going to use this book for a paper. that seems unlikely now, but i am still very happy to ha...more
Mirrordance
Ho faticato. Forse mi aspettavo qualcosa di differente, qualcosa meno focalizzato sulla lettura del genere nelle arti. Colgo, ma e' un mio limite, un profondo distacco tra teorizzazioni e vite vissute. Lontana dalle filosofie vivo. Leggo incuriosita ma rimango perplessa: colgo gli stimoli, ma continuo a interrogarmi. In fin dei conti non sono risposte quelle che cerco e forse, piano paiano, tutti i ontorni si definiranno od io accettero' questa miopia totale ed il vivere in un mondo sfocato.
Krista
A really good use of queer theory in non-sexuality-based ways, looking at the queerness of time and place through a lens of trans-ness. Not simple reading, but very effectively done and an important part of a lot of the work I did in grad school.

10/08 - I'm re-reading this book post-grad school to see what I think of it when it isn't assigned - when, in fact, I have no requisite reading. It is excellent, actually, better than I remembered and far more readable.
John
Halberstam is a big deal in queer circles. This isn't her biggest book, apparently, but it's a nice investigation of contemporary film and art and music. Some of the cultural products help to depict what transgender really looks like. Her discussions of how queer time and place are different from normative time and place were particularly poignant.
J
Incredible and insightful. first chapter and the last chapter felt the most important and strongest! If you are interested in queer theory and/or art, this is a must read. Halberstam points to some key components of queerness that are so often overlooked and not spoken about (the impacts of space and temporality and locale). So good.
Jayden
I liked it. it was little more lit/art/film review than i was hoping for, but i think halberstam has some really interesting analyses around drag king culture and a couple of different films (boys don't cry and by hook or by crook specfically). also, i like the interwoven discussion regarding authenticity. i'd recommend it.
Tina
Judith Halberstam is one of the modern thinkers on sexuality and sexual identity that I respect and enjoy reading. This recent book of hers provides a coherent diverse look at transgender identity.
A must-read as a companion to reading her other important work, Female Masculinity.
Cait
I really wanted to love this book, and it did have its interesting moments, but I felt like its attempt to straddle theory, art, and narrative ended up just weakening its footing in all three. I found her book of photographs of Drag Kings more illuminating than this one.
Pamela
A fascinating collection of essays by Judith Halberstam on the fluidity of transgender identity. I found the chapters on Brandon Teena to be particularly interesting, and I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in queer theory or transgender/transsexuality.
Sara Jaye
Not as thrilling, to me at least, as Female Masculinity was - it lacks some of that previous works' groundedness, and sometimes treads very murky identity territory in terms of who gets to define what for whom. (If that even made any sense.)
Daniel
This book is fascinating and encouraging. Despite the occasional trip into Marxist postmodernist philosophy (in all its dismal prattle), Halberstam keeps the book upbeat, inspiring, and just a little bit sassy. I'm sad to return it to the library!
Megan
May 11, 2008 Megan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: queer people, academics, marxists
Shelves: queer-theory
argues for a queer time and space outside the logic of capital accumulation; explores the transgender body as the embodiment of postmodern subjectivity; looks at the culture that rose around brandon teena. AND MORE
Dominique Pierre Batiste
"Queer Time" and "Queer Space" (those outside of heteronormative expectations) as starting points for an analysis of worlds, orientation, feelings
Amy P.
A lot of great arguments are presented in this book. I'm not sure if they were all answered, but it's some good thinking material!
Lord Beardsley
Very interesting and readable examination of queer identity presentation, as well as a cultural study on modern media.
Liza
Oct 27, 2011 Liza added it
Shelves: archives, queer
queer temporality, queer temporality, queer temporality! i am glad somebody wrote about le tigre hot topic.
Oliver
I'm excited to say that I now have a favorite queer theorist and it is J. Halberstam!!!
Steve
This book is great.
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Judith "Jack" Halberstam is a Professor of English and Director of The Center for Feminist Research at the University of Southern California.
More about J. Jack Halberstam...
Female Masculinity The Queer Art of Failure Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters Posthuman Bodies

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