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Bodies of Evidence: The Practice of Queer Oral History (Oxford Oral History)

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

When written sources are scarce, historians often turn to oral histories for evidence. Bodies of Evidence: The Practice of Queer Oral History is the first book to provide serious scholarly insight into the methodological practices that shape lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer oral histories. The volume opens up a critical dialogue on the challenges of creating an archive of queer lives. Highlighting the work of fourteen authors who focus their research on queer community history, culture, and politics, each chapter pairs an oral history excerpt with an original essay in which the oral historian addresses his or her methods and practices. With an afterword by the preeminent scholar in the field, John D'Emilio, this collection enables readers to examine both a series of oral histories and analysis of the role memory, desire, sexuality, and gender play in documenting LGBTQ communities and cultures.

The historical themes addressed within include lesbian bar history in San Francisco (c. 1940s, 1950s); early homophile organizing and social activism in Los Angeles (c. 1950s and 1960s); Third World Liberation and feminist antiwar activism in the U.S. and Canada (c. 1960s, 1970s); electoral politics and the career of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in San Francisco (1970s); Latino AIDS memory and activism in San Francisco (1980s, 1990s); and the war in Iraq (2000s).

The methodological themes addressed in this book that are relevant to the practice of oral history include questions of sexual self-disclosure and voyeurism in the uses of oral history methods by queer studies scholars; the intimacy between researcher and narrator negotiated through multiple oral history interviews and on-going casual conversations; the production of comparative racial and sexual identities within the context of oral history interviews; the production of in-group mythology by same-sexuality interviewing--and the possible benefits of cross-sexuality and cross-ideology interviewing; what heterosexually-identified narrators can tell us about LGBTQ life and death; the silences imposed by repressive U.S. government policy about sexual self-disclosure and the limits of permissible speech in highly politicized discourses such as "gays in the military." These themes provide new and insightful structures for thinking about oral history methods--both in general and in relation to the production of LGBTQ history.

Synopsis:

Bodies of Evidence: The Practice of Queer Oral History is the first book to provide serious scholarly insight into the methodological practices that shape lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer oral histories. Each chapter pairs an oral history excerpt with an essay in which the oral historian addresses his or her methods and practices. With an afterword by John D'Emilio, this collection enables readers to examine the role memory, desire, sexuality, and gender play in documenting LGBTQ communities and cultures.

The historical themes addressed include 1950s and '60s lesbian bar culture; social life after the Cuban revolution; the organization of transvestite social clubs in the U.S. midwest in the 1960s; Australian gay liberation activism in the 1970s; San Francisco electoral politics and the career of Harvey Milk; Asian American community organizing in pre-AIDS Los Angeles; lesbian feminist "sex war" cultural politics; 1980s and '90s Latina/o transgender community memory and activism in San Francisco; and the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The methodological themes include questions of silence, sexual self-disclosure and voyeurism, the intimacy between researcher and narrator, and the social and political commitments negotiated through multiple oral history interviews. The book also examines the production of comparative racial and sexual identities and the relative strengths of same-sexuality, cross-sexuality, and cross-ideology interviewing.

About the Author

Nan Alamilla Boyd is professor of women and gender studies, San Francisco State University and author of Wide Open Town: A History of Queer San Francisco to 1965.

Horacio N. Roque Ramírez is associate professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara and author of the forthcoming Queer Latino San Francisco: An Oral History, 1960s-1990s.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Close Encounters: The Body and Knowledge in Queer Oral History

by Horacio N. Roque Ramírez and Nan Alamilla Boyd

Part 1: Silence

Chapter 1: Sex, 'Silence,' and Audiotape: Listening for Female Same-Sex Desire in Cuba

by Carrie Hamilton

Oral history by Carrie Hamilton with "Laura," Havana, Cuba, 2005-2007

Chapter 2: Remembering Provincetown: Oral History and Narrativity at Land's End

by Karen Krahulik

Oral history by Karen Krahulik with Marguerite Beata Cook, Provincetown, Massachusetts, January 22, 1997

Chapter 3: Queer Family Stories: Learning from Oral Histories with Lesbian Mothers and Gay Fathers from the Pre-Stonewall Era

by Daniel Rivers

Oral history by Daniel Rivers with Vera Clarice Martin, Apache Junction, Arizona, September 2, 2006

Chapter 4: Spiraling Desire: Recovering the Lesbian Embodied Self in Oral History Narrative

by Jeff Friedman

Oral history by Jeff Friedman with Terry Sendgraff, San Francisco, California, November 12 and 28, and December 6, 1990

Part 2: Sex

Chapter 5: Talking About Sex: Cheryl Gonzales and Rikki Streicher Tell Their Stories

by Nan Alamilla Boyd

Oral history by Nan Alamilla Boyd with Cheryl Gonzales, San Francisco, California, February 1, 1992; oral history by Nan Alamilla Boyd with Rikki Streicher, San Francisco, California, January 22, 1992

Chapter 6: Private Lives and Public History: On Excavating the Sexual Past in Queer Oral History Practice

by Jason Ruiz

Oral history by Jason Ruiz with Charles W. Paul Larsen, Columbia Heights, Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 16, 2004

Chapter 7: Gender, Desire, and Feminism: A Conversation between Dorothy Allison and Carmen Vázquez

by Kelly Anderson

Oral history by Kelly Anderson with Dorothy Allison and Carmen Vázquez, San Francisco, California, November 19, 2007

Part 3: Friendship

Chapter 8: Friendship, Institutions, Oral History

by Michael David Franklin

Oral history interview by Michael David Franklin and Dorthe Troeften with Carol, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 24, 2005

Chapter 9: Gay Teachers and Students, Oral History and Queer Kinship

by Daniel Marshall

Oral history by Daniel Marshall with Gary Jaynes and Graham Carbery, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, August 6, 2008

Chapter 10: Sharing Queer Authorities: Collaborating for Transgender Latina and Gay Latino Historical Meanings

Horacio N. Roque Ramírez

Oral history by Horacio N. Roque Ramírez with Alberta Nevaeres (aka "Teresita la Campesina"), San Francisco, California, April 27, 1996

Part 4: Politics

Chapter 11: Dancing with Stella, Los Angeles Daughters of Bilitis Pioneer

Marcia M. Gallo

Oral history by Marcia Gallo with Stella Rush, Los Angeles, California,

March 15 and 19, May 2, May 21 and 22, November 17, 2002

Chapter 12: "You Could Argue That They Control Power": Politics and Interviewing across Sexualities

by Martin Meeker

Oral history by Martin Meeker with Quentin Kopp, San Mateo, California, April 16 and 17, 2007

Chapter 13: Don't Ask: Discussing Sexuality in the American Military and the Media

by Steve Estes

Oral history by Steve Estes with Brian Hughes, Washington D.C., January 25, 2005

Chapter 14: Thanks for the Memories: A Narrator Asks an Oral Historian for Validation

by Eric C. Wat

Oral history by Eric Wat with Ernest Wada, Los Angeles, California, December 4, 1997

Afterword: "If I Knew Then..."

John D'Emilio

Contributors

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780199890668
Author:
Boyd, Nan Alamilla (edt)
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Author:
Roque RamIrez, Horacio N.
Author:
Roque Ram?rez, Horacio N.
Author:
Boyd, Nan Alamilla
Author:
Horacio N. Roque Ram�rez
Author:
Horacio N. Roque RamIrez
Author:
Roque Ram�rez, Horacio N.
Author:
Horacio N. Roque Ram?rez
Subject:
Sociology - General
Subject:
History, World | British | Since 1945
Subject:
History, Other | Cultural History
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20120231
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
9 b/w halftones
Pages:
312
Dimensions:
6.3 x 9.4 x 1 in 1.4 lb

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » General
Gay and Lesbian » Fiction and Poetry » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

Bodies of Evidence: The Practice of Queer Oral History (Oxford Oral History) New Hardcover
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Product details 312 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780199890668 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Bodies of Evidence: The Practice of Queer Oral History is the first book to provide serious scholarly insight into the methodological practices that shape lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer oral histories. Each chapter pairs an oral history excerpt with an essay in which the oral historian addresses his or her methods and practices. With an afterword by John D'Emilio, this collection enables readers to examine the role memory, desire, sexuality, and gender play in documenting LGBTQ communities and cultures.

The historical themes addressed include 1950s and '60s lesbian bar culture; social life after the Cuban revolution; the organization of transvestite social clubs in the U.S. midwest in the 1960s; Australian gay liberation activism in the 1970s; San Francisco electoral politics and the career of Harvey Milk; Asian American community organizing in pre-AIDS Los Angeles; lesbian feminist "sex war" cultural politics; 1980s and '90s Latina/o transgender community memory and activism in San Francisco; and the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The methodological themes include questions of silence, sexual self-disclosure and voyeurism, the intimacy between researcher and narrator, and the social and political commitments negotiated through multiple oral history interviews. The book also examines the production of comparative racial and sexual identities and the relative strengths of same-sexuality, cross-sexuality, and cross-ideology interviewing.

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