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Queer: A Graphic History
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Queer: A Graphic History

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  2,053 ratings  ·  392 reviews
Activist-academic Meg-John Barker and cartoonist Julia Scheele illuminate the histories of queer thought and LGBTQ+ action in this groundbreaking non-fiction graphic novel.

From identity politics and gender roles to privilege and exclusion, Queer explores how we came to view sex, gender and sexuality in the ways that we do; how these ideas get tangled up with our culture an
Paperback, 176 pages
Published November 15th 2016 by Icon Books
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4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,053 ratings  ·  392 reviews

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May 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
Maybe I should write a review that explains why this book is such utter garbage.

1. Queer theory is a plot (modification of Adrian Piper stating that post-structuralism is a plot). Queer is a meaningless word that is unresponsive to the realities faced by LGBT people, namely homophobia and transphobia. In using queer to mean anyone who is kewl and performative instead of using it to refer to people grouped together on the basis of shared oppression, you miss why LGBT people experience discriminat
Danika at The Lesbrary
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
I wasn't expecting this to be queer /theory/! This is also more of a highly illustrated book than a graphic novel/graphic history. So basically, this was more intellectual than I was expecting. But that was great! Although sometimes it got a little intimidating, I think overall it did a great job in introducing a very dense, complex, sometimes incomprehensible subject.

I took a Queer Theory class in university, so I was familiar with some of this, but it was a great refresher for those and intro
I appreciate the information this little book holds, but man it was boring. It was somewhat of a slog. It did a great job of educating, but it was not entertaining really. There was so much they could have done in a graphic novel format. They could have told a story, or even just make each page more of a graphic novel. Instead, we get a picture that goes with the lecture.

I learned quite a bit from this book and even new ways to think about and see things. My only critique and it's a big one, is
Firstly, for a graphic novel called: Queer: a Graphic Novel, I expected more of a discussion on the word queer and its connotations. I use the word queer freely and like it for its umbrella term. I find that using queer (although it has been directed at me in a derogatory way) is something that I personally feel comfortable doing. I like it because I find that people who accept it really readily accept it and don’t challenge it. I find that people who ask me to clarify in a certain way, “So does ...more
Elizabeth A
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, graphix, non-fiction
Book blurb: From identity politics and gender roles to privilege and exclusion, Queer explores how we came to view sex, gender and sexuality in the ways that we do; how these ideas get tangled up with our culture and our understanding of biology, psychology and sexology; and how these views have been disputed and challenged.

I was at a gathering recently where people were asked to introduce themselves, and identify which pronouns they prefer. Huh? There are times I feel so dang old. Sigh.

This non
A fun foray back into academia for a night! I think I'm not really the intended audience for this book, which is a graphic introduction to queer theory (the term history in the subtitle is a bit of a misnomer-- it'd be better if the cover and title made it clear it's about queer theory specifically). I've read fair number of the primary texts they refer to by Foucault, Butler, etc, so I doubt myself a bit when I say I think the concepts are well and clearly explained and that this book is pretty ...more
Jan 23, 2018 rated it liked it
El título es engañoso, debería llamarse "Queer: A Graphic History of Queer THEORY". Si estáis buscando una cronología de hechos importantes en la historia del activismo LGBT no es vuestro libro. Los conceptos son complejos y en muchas ocasiones no he llegado a captarlos estando tan resumidos, por lo que no podría recomendar el libro a nadie que no supiera algo de teoría queer de antemano (vamos, un user de twitter/tumblr :P). Tampoco se lo recomendaría a alguien versade en teoría queer. Se pasa ...more
Clemlucian (🏳️‍🌈the brooding villain)
⭐⭐⭐⭐ stars

Fascinating, articulate and intelligent.
Nicole Craswell
Jan 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars.

This is such a great overview of queer theory. This book at least touched on almost every concept I've studied in almost 2 years of university gender and queer studies and explains everything in a clear, concise way that makes some of the notoriously confusing concepts easy to understand. Seriously, I've never understood Foucault more clearly. Every idea is accompanies by pictures that both help with the explanations and also keep things interesting (let's be real, a lot of queer theor
This book is missing an important word on the cover, THEORY. This isn't the graphic history of the queer community, but a short, illustrated introduction into queer theory. Anyone who has studied queer issues already knows the basics, and anyone wanting to know the basics needs more than the book offers.
Alex Sarll
For some reason I'd expected this to be a sort of Alice in Sunderland if Sunderland were the chosen name of one of Alice's non-binary partners. Whereas really it's much more an illustrated introduction in the manner of those old beginner's guides (I say that like I read more than one, when in fact it was just Rius on Marx at an early age while bored at a family friend's). Still, it deals admirably with the difficulty of introducing and summarising theories whose very essence is to disputatiously ...more
Nov 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
So. This is a good start to queer theory, however misses out a few key things.

It completely ignores the idea why some people reject the word queer. I identify as queer, but not exploring this is unfair to people who reject this umbrella-labelling in favour of other terms.

It also claims, bewilderingly, that cishet people can be queer. Kinksters... are not queer. Sorry, pals. It takes a lot of time to discuss lived experiences of actual queer people and then ignores the fact that a lot of queer pe
4 estrelles perquè penso que és un llibre molt difícil d'escriure. A vegades no m'ha acabat d'agradar l'estructura, per moments l'he trobada mica caòtica, però realment explica moltíssimes coses d'una manera bastant clara. El que m'ha agradat més, per això, és la constant revisió i com s'han inclòs de manera exhaustiva les diverses crítiques que s'han fet a la teoria queer. Tot i la voluntat de ser esquemàtic i directe, en cap moment cau en la simplificació.

Un dia després, penso que m'ha agradat
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Clever, accessible and comprehensive introduction to queer theory. And the authors don't shy away from critique - they're quick to point out when they themselves fall into binaries, they notice lack of intersectionality, and list the issues of this developing academic field. A good read, even if you know your Foucault and Butler. I wanted to write that it puts things in place, but no. It sets them in unending, erratic motion, as queer theory should.
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
✔ (adv.) a micro history

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 5 stars

Super fascinating! Attempts to effectively address queerness in the most easily digested way through illustrations and ideologies. Really helps me understand sexuality/identity etc. in its entire complexity. Still so much to learn!
This review was originally posted here on my blog, Magic & Musings. Check it out!

* Icon Books kindly sent me a copy of Queer for review, but my opinions below are just that: my opinions! *

'Activist-academic Megan-John Barker and cartoonist Julia Scheele illuminate the histories of queer thought and LGBTQ+ action in this groundbreaking non-fiction graphic novel. A kaleidoscope of characters from the diverse worlds of pop culture, film, activism and academics guide us on a journey through the
Lizzie (Littlehux) Huxley-Jones
Here’s the thing: I’m queer in a number of ways. I’ve known I was attracted to multiple genders for a long time, but good old childhood shaming and being called “Lizzie the Lesbo” was enough for me to squash that side of me until I reached adulthood and eventually felt safe enough to think about it. I’ve known I was not a girl and not a boy either for my whole life, existing in the in-between and struggling with intermittent social and physical dysphoria. It was only in my late twenties that I s ...more
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Akemi G.
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I wanted to learn how I can relate to LGBTQ people so that I won't unwittingly offend them. Besides, I was confused with the terminology: Is intersectionality just fancier word for diversity? The word queer is sometimes used to mean gay people, sometimes as the umbrella word for all LGBT (and intersex, asexual, etc), but also the opposite of that--that is, people who don't (or won't) belong to LGBT circle, right?

This book is a good intro. Definitely just an intro, but still quite informative. Be
Stewart Tame
Feb 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Wow. That was not at all what I expected, though not in a bad way. Certainly it was more of an intellectual workout than I was prepared for. Queer is an introduction to Queer Theory in graphic novel form. Although I just read the book, I doubt my ability to give a coherent summary of just what QT is. There's one quote that comes close to my hazy understanding, but it will take some setting up. Throughout the book, there are portraits of various writers and researchers whose work has contributed ...more
Rod Brown
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
I sought out this work because of the subtitle, "A Graphic History." I was hoping for a graphic novel and instead received a pretty dull PowerPoint presentation. Basically a droning lecture is typeset in big blocks of text that float over bland illustrations that exhibit little continuity or flow. The most amusing part of the book for me was the several minutes I spent afterward using Google Images to search for the various real people whose images appear in the book and counting how many times ...more
I was expecting a graphic novel about the history of "queer" the word or about notable queer figures in history. This was actually more of an illustrated introduction to academic queer theory. Even with the illustrations it was dense reading and there were parts I'm not entirely sure I understood. Perhaps this might be a little too dense for those who aren't familiar with feminist studies or reading other academic works but it might be a nice introduction for those who have.
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This brought me back to my Queer Theory class. I recognized nearly every single name mentioned, which made me pretty damn impressed with myself haha. Great little book to have on hand. Would have liked it to have an index — alas!
The only reason I'm withholding a star is because I had to read this really quickly for class, so I didn't get to sit with all the content as long as I would've liked. But I'm definitely going to re-read and probably even buy this one, so I'll update my rating then!

For now, I'm really excited at the idea of taking theory outside of academia and exploring different mediums that change the way readers can engage with complex ideas. Of course a book like this can't get into precise detail about eve
Barker and Scheele's Queer: A Graphic History is a succinct account of the academic field of queer theory. They go a long way to cut down on intensive (and confusing) jargon, and they succeed in providing many humorous and telling illustrations that reflect on queer icons throughout history while staying true to the political and cultural critiques endemic to queer theory. It's a text I would love to teach in the future, purely for its accessible reading, but also for its capacity to engender cr ...more
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Listen. I loved this book. It's educational without being too esoteric. It stakes positions but isn't preachy. It's accessible and inclusive. It made me consider familiar topics from new perspectives, and gave voice to feelings I've had for years, not knowing there were entire concepts and fields of study based on them. I wish this book had been around when I was 14 years old and starting to understand myself as more than I had been told I could be. I honestly wish I could put this book into eve ...more
Sep 19, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is basically an academic text crossed with a comic. It's so jam packed full of accessible/super informative explanations of queer theory and history. If you're looking for a cutesy little graphic history, this ain't it. If you're looking for a succinct and instructive rundown of the history of queer theory (from identity politics and gender roles to privilege and exclusion), look no further. It may be short and filled with a ton of illustrations, but this is one book that will definite ...more
Oct 05, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: overrated
This book is full of oversimplifications, overt biases, and outright lies. Radical Feminists (called by an actual slur in this crap book) aren't "using" Butler's theories "to advance an agenda." They are practicing real feminism, which has nothing to do with Butler's neoliberal, PoMo, faux-academic garbage. There's a reason that Walmart carries this pile of shit in paper form. It's mainstream neoliberal propaganda.
Chris Wolak
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Solid intro and/or review of Queer Theory. Impressed by the amount of information covered in such a short book. Great jumping off point to learn more.
Finn Longman
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was SO GOOD and I'm so mad that I waited over a year to actually read it after being given it for Christmas 2017. It's a really accessible intro to queer theory -- key figures and thinkers and their ideas, as well as critical reception to those ideas and how they've been questioned and reshaped since first being expressed.

It gave me the vocabulary I was lacking while writing my dissertation (who knew I had a post-structuralist approach?), and for that reason I really wish I'd read it in ti
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Dr. Meg-John Barker is a writer, therapist, and activist-academic specialising in sex, gender and relationships. Their popular books include the (anti-)self-help relationship book Rewriting the Rules, The Secrets of Enduring Love (with Jacqui Gabb), Queer: A Graphic History (with Julia Scheele), and Enjoy Sex, How, When and If You Want To (with Justin Hancock). Meg-John is a senior lecturer in psy ...more