Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly topic hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week she provide a topic and you are free to use that topic and/or variations of that topic to make your top ten list. A full list of the weekly themes can be found here.
This past semester has been crazy! Not only was I working a full-time job, in my last semester of my library science graduate program, but I also decided to audit two classes (do some of the homework) for fun. Yeah….I just really love learning for learning’s sake. One of the classes was Historical Perspectives on Gender and sexualities. The final was a scholarly book review, and on the last day of class and the final time slot, each student went over the book they chose. Here are the books that I would like to read after hearing about them.
In Bad Girls at Samarcand Karin L. Zipf dissects a dark episode in North Carolina’s eugenics campaign through a detailed study of the State Home and Industrial School in Eagle Springs, referred to as Samarcand Manor, and the school’s infamous 1931 arson case. The people and events surrounding both the institution and the court case sparked a public debate about the expectations of white womanhood, the nature of contemporary science and medicine, and the role of the juvenile justice system that resonated throughout the succeeding decades.
In this comprehensive history, Ashley D. Farmer examines black women’s political, social, and cultural engagement with Black Power ideals and organizations. Complicating the assumption that race and gender constraints relegated black women to the margins of the movement, Farmer demonstrates how female activists fought for more inclusive understandings of Black Power and social justice by developing new ideas about black womanhood. This compelling book shows how the new tropes of womanhood that they created–the “Militant Black Domestic,” the “Revolutionary Black Woman,” and the “Third World Woman,” for instance–spurred debate among activists over the centrality of gender to Black Power ideologies, ultimately causing many of the era’s organizations and collectives to adopt a more radical critique of patriarchy.
Lillian Faderman tells the compelling story of lesbian life in the 20th century, from the early 1900s to today’s diverse lifestyles. Using journals, unpublished manuscripts, songs, news accounts, novels, medical literature, and numerous interviews, she relates an often surprising narrative of lesbian life. “A key work…the point of reference from which all subsequent studies of 20th-century lesbian life in the United States will begin.”
In Masculinity and Sexuality in Modern Mexico, historians and anthropologists explain how evolving notions of the meaning and practice of manhood have shaped Mexican history. In essays that range from Texas to Oaxaca and from the 1880s to the present, contributors write about file clerks and movie stars, wealthy world travelers and ordinary people whose adventures were confined to a bar in the middle of town.
For author Qwo-Li Driskill, asegi provides a means by which to reread Cherokee history in order to listen for those stories rendered “strange” by colonial heteropatriarchy.
As the first full-length work of scholarship to develop a tribally specific Indigenous Queer or Two-Spirit critique, Asegi Stories examines gender and sexuality in Cherokee cultural memory, how they shape the present, and how they can influence the future.
Charity and Sylvia is the intimate history of their extraordinary forty-four year union. Drawing on an array of original documents including diaries, letters, and poetry, Cleves traces their lives in sharp detail. Providing an illuminating glimpse into a relationship that turns conventional notions of same-sex marriage on their head, and reveals early America to be a place both more diverse and more accommodating than modern society might imagine, Charity and Sylvia is a significant contribution to our limited knowledge of LGBT history in early America.
Ideas of masculinity and femininity become sharply defined in war-reliant societies, resulting in a presumed enmity between men and women. This so-called “battle of the sexes” is intensified by the use of misogyny to encourage men and boys to conform to the demands of masculinity. These are among Tom Digby’s fascinating insights shared in Love and War, which describes the making and manipulation of gender in militaristic societies and the sweeping consequences for men and women in their personal, romantic, sexual, and professional lives.
Since the defeat of the Nazi Third Reich and the end of its horrific eugenics policies, battles over the politics of life, sex, and death have continued and evolved. Dagmar Herzog documents how reproductive rights and disability rights, both latecomers to the postwar human rights canon, came to be seen as competing–with unexpected consequences.
As Christian leaders in the first through fifth centuries embraced ascetic interpretations of the Bible and practices of sexual renunciation, sexual slander–such as the accusations Paul leveled against wayward Gentiles in the New Testament–played a pivotal role in the formation of early Christian identity. In particular, the imagined construct of the lascivious, literal-minded Jew served as a convenient foil to the chaste Christian ideal. Susanna Drake examines representations of Jewish sexuality in early Christian writings that use accusations of carnality, fleshliness, bestiality, and licentiousness as strategies to differentiate the “spiritual” Christian from the “carnal” Jew.
Based on extensive archival work, Stormtrooper Families combines stormtrooper personnel records, Nazi Party autobiographies, published and unpublished memoirs, personal letters, court records, and police-surveillance records to paint a picture of the stormtrooper movement as an organic product of its local community, its web of interpersonal relationships, and its intensely emotional internal struggles. Extensive analysis of Nazi-era media across the political spectrum shows how the public debate over homosexuality proved just as important to political outcomes as did the actual presence of homosexuals in fascist and antifascist politics.
Happy Reading Darlings!