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message 1: by E (last edited Aug 21, 2018 01:31PM) (new)

E (e_hopf) | 8 comments So I know most of the books and stuff we've recommended here has been fictional, and I was wondering how y'all feel about nonfiction (I mostly mean more theoretical texts, but biographies and stuff would be cool too)? Because I have so many that I'd recommend, but I don't know if anyone's interested. If so, I'll start a list of my favorite (lighter) theoretical texts :)

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ETA: here's the list (by author, not by my favorites because I just can't choose, and also very Western-centric, sorry xP):

Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women and the Rest of Us Bornstein's book is arguably one of the most popular books about the process of discovering one's gender identity, and it's especially important for "the rest of us." This one is a really easy read too. It's written in a very accessible style.

Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex" Judith Butler is notoriously difficult to read, so it's probably best to come back to this once you have more experience reading theory, because even then it's very hard. My not-perfect summary: gender is the construct that comes first (we decided we needed gender, so we made up rules and differences to enforce this system) and we should pay more attention to the materiality or physical embodiment of bodies. I've read this in multiple classes, and it's still tough, so maybe read other theorists' analyses of Butler's work, so they do the work of picking through the jargon for you.

Patrick Califia-Rice I'm just reccing everything by this author. I'm low-key in love with Califia and all his work. The first piece I read was "Feminism and Sadomasochism." I'm currently reading Public Sex: The Culture of Radical Sex, which is a collection of essays, and I love it. I'd suggest that as a starting place for him, but there is so much more. His style is simultaneously theoretical and relaxed, and he prides himself on writing in a pornographic and informative way at the same time. It's a really interesting writing style, and it works well.

Policing Public Sex: Queer Politics and the Future of AIDS Activism This book is also a collection of essays, by wonderful authors. One I'll talk more about a bit later is Muñoz. But honestly, just using the notes at the end of each of these essays for further reading is a really great place to start too.

The History of Sexuality, Volume 1: An Introduction The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault is basically the first theoretical queer text I read, and I fell in love. It's pretty complicated though, and it can be tough to get through on your own. One thing I will recommend is that you read some of his earlier lectures, because that's where he lays out some of the ideas that he doesn't really explain in this book. Many people since have poked holes in his arguments and pointed out problematic assumptions, but I still highly recommend, if only because it's a foundational text in the canon. (Further reading: Stoler's Race and the Education of Desire, a direct response to this book)

Crip Theory: Cultural Signs of Queerness and Disability I've only read the introduction to this one, but I'm reccing it anyway. It takes off from Puar's idea of compulsory heterosexuality to argue that compulsory heterosexuality and compulsory able-bodiedness are dependent on each other. This one is a little more dense, and probably needs a little bit more background knowledge in the jargon of queer and disability theory.

Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity Most of what I read is not very optimistic, but Muñoz is an exception to this. (Also, his essay in Policing Public Sex comes from this book) This one is also a little harder to grasp, but even if you don't understand all of what he's saying (I don't always either), I would recommend it anyway, because it's beautiful.

Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times I'm mostly reccing the intro to this book, which is called "Homonationalism and Biopolitics." I have some issues with Puar, but this introduction does cover some really interesting ground, notably the false dichotomy between being queer and religious and US (sexual) exceptionalism. Puar is also pretty tricky to read, but it's a really interesting concept.

Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence I have mixed feelings about this piece, but I felt I should rec it anyway. I disagree with a decent amount of what she says (see the first section Califia's Public Sex for a pretty good breakdown of why), but Rich does put forward some really good points. Again, this is a little more tricky to read.

Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality This is another one of the formative essays in my political thinking about sexuality. Rubin here argues that we need a politics of sexuality on its own instead of just lumping it in with feminism or gay movements. This is early '80s, so a lot has happened since then, but it's such a good introduction to thinking about sexuality critically. A little harder to read.

Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of Law This one is a bit more legal than theoretical, and I've only read the first two chapters, but I would love to read more eventually.

The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and the Ethics of Queer Life This one is one of my favorite books of all time. It's very accessible language, and I love the points Warner goes through.


message 2: by Ro (new)

Ro Sayer (RoSayer) | 2 comments I'd love some nonfiction recs!


message 3: by E (new)

E (e_hopf) | 8 comments Alright! I'm going to do them in the first post on this thread so it doesn't get lost, and then I can add things there if people have other recs! Also, I definitely forgot to add some of my favorites or other really important ones, and I apologize for that. But, here you go. Enjoy! :)
P.S. I'd love to talk to anyone about any of these books as you read them, or if you already have


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