STUDIES

JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1992, VOL 24(1/2): SPECIAL DOUBLE ISSUE INCLUDES:

THE EMERGENCE OF GAY AND LESBIANS STUDIES, H.L. MINTON, P1-6.

GENERATIONS AND PARADIGMS: MAINSTREAMS IN LESBIAN AND GAY STUDIES, J. ESCOFFIER, P7-26.

The development of lesbian and gay studies is traced from the Stonewall period of the late sixties and early seventies to the present. The effort to establish lesbian and gay studies has brought together several generations of scholars who have produced a variety of conceptual worldviews. These generational mainstreams of thought in lesbian and gay studies include the search for authenticity (1969-1976), the social construction of identity (1976-present), essential identity (1975-present), difference and race (1979-present), and cultural studies (1985-present).

HOMOSEXUAL, GAY, AND LESBIAN: DEFINING THE WORDS AND SAMPLING THE POPULATIONS, J.M. DONOVAN, P27-47.

The lack of both specificity and consensus about definitions for homosexual, homosexuality, gay, and lesbian are first shown to confound comparative research and cumulative understanding because criteria for inclusion within the subject populations are often not consistent. The Description section examines sociolinguistic variables which determine patterns of preferred choice of terminology, and considers how these might impact gay and lesbian studies. Attitudes and style are found to influence word choice. These results are used in the second section to devise recommended definitional limits which would satisfy both communication needs and methodological purposes, especially those of sampling.

DECONSTRUCTION, LESBIAN AND GAY STUDIES, AND INTERDISCIPLINARY WORKS: THEORETICAL, POLITICAL, AND INSTITUTIONAL STRATEGIES, K. NAMASTE, P49-64.

The problematic of cultural self-representation is examined in light of the development of lesbian and gay studies. The issues are examined through the lens of deconstruction as theoretical and political strategy. This examination suggests the value of interventionist work, and seeks to articulate an understanding of interdisciplinary work as exemplary of such an interventionist practice and politic. Relevant theoretical and political implications are explored, most especially in terms of the future developments of lesbian and gay studies.

THE MARK OF SEXUAL PREFERENCE IN THE INTERPRETATION OF TEXTS: PREFACE TO A HOMOSEXUAL READING, A.FLANNIGAN-SAINT-AUBIN, P65-88.

Since reading is an interaction or confrontation between the reader and the text - an interaction that depends upon the background and perspectives of the reader as well as on the text being read - we can assume that the dynamics of sexuality and sexual object choice will influence how readers ascribe meaning to literary texts. In fact, although other aspects of our identities come into play when we read, sexual identity is unique and central because of the role that it plays in the creation of subjectivity. Specifically, male homosexuality informs and structures the reading of texts. But what does it mean to be a homosexual reader or to effectuate a homosexual reading of a particular text?

TEACHING HOMOSEXUAL LITERATURE AS A "SUBVERSIVE" ACT, J. CADY, P89-107.

If taught in a way that exposes students extensively and closely to its texts, homosexual literature can "subvert" the long-standing cultural notion that homosexuality is and should remain "unspeakable" and "untouchable." The author's working methods and materials in his gay and lesbian literature courses at the New School for Social Research, where he has been teaching the subject since 1979, are organized according to those principles. His courses also have a secondary "subversiveness" in the present academic climate, in implicitly dissenting from the dominant "new-inventionist" trend in gay studies now.

MATTERS OF FACT: ESTABLISHING A GAY AND LESBIAN STUDIES DEPARTMENT, J. COLLINS, P109-123.

This article describes the establishment and operation of the first Gay and Lesbian Studies Department in the United States. The evolution of instructional services, administrative and student services, and various aspects of institutionalization are discussed. Short statements by two faculty members of the new Department follow the main article.

GAY AND LESBIAN STUDIES IN THE NETHERLANDS, G. HEKMA, THEO VAN DER MEER, P125-136.

Gay and Lesbian Studies have been rather successful on an institutional level at Dutch universities. The article discusses the social and scholarly backgrounds of this development, the work being done, and the societal reception of gay and lesbian studies. The deployment of gay and lesbian studies was possible thanks to the democratic structure of Dutch universities, and to a general aceptance of the aims of gay and lesbian emancipation in Dutch society. The article delineates also the limitations of the Dutch situation, in terms of the "cordon sanitaire" or minority perspective in which gays and lesbians seem to become enclosed. Also, the future perspectives of gay and lesbian studies are discussed.

LESBIAN STUDIES EMERGING IN CANADA, C. GAMMON, P137-160.

This paper provides an overview of Lesbian Studies in Canada historically and currently. The methodology integrates the factual with personal accounts and perceptions. The first sections touch upon theoretical aspects, including: what is Lesbian Studies, the pros and cons of merging Lesbian and Gay, or Lesbian and Women's Studies, mainstreaming versus creating a separate discipline and the threat of cooptation. A brief historical account traces evidence of Lesbian Studies in antiquity, and in the United States and Europe in recent decades. Reports from various Canadian institutions discuss the extent or lack of Lesbian Studies to date. A section on francophone institutions oulines the grass-roots cultural and political pinnings which are necessary to making Lesbian Studies possible in the academy. The paper then focuses on the Lesbian Studies Coalition of Concordia (Montreal), a student group which has struggled for the first series of Lesbian Studies credit courses in Canada.

HISTORY'S FUTURE: REFLECTIONS ON LESBIAN AND GAY HISTORY IN THE COMMUNITY, W. ROSCOE, P161-179.

From its beginnings in the nineteenth century, the lesbian and gay political movement has been linked to a search for lesbian and gay history. In the post-Stonewall period, community-based historians have been fostering interest in the lesbian and gay past and developing distinctive forms for disseminating their research - in particular, the lesbian/gay archive, the slide-lecture presentation, and the community-based audience. Analyzing the content of these forms reveals how the fascination of the artifact, the image, and the Other fosters the construction of both knowledge and identity. It is these forms of knowledge, rather than their content as such, that are in danger of being forgotten as lesbian and gay studies becomes academically institutionalized.

APPENDIX: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY; FACULTY READING: SUGGESTIONS FOR TEACHING; INDEX, P181-201.

LESBIAN AND GAY KINSHIP: KATH WESTON'S FAMILIES WE CHOOSE AND CONTEMPORARY ANTHROPOLOGY, ELLEN LEWIN, SIGNS, 1993, VOL 18(40, P974-979.

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