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Original Essays | August 20, 2014

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    Julie Schumacher 9780385538138

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This title in other editions

Beautiful Bottom, Beautiful Shame: Where "Black" Meets "Queer" (Series Q)


Beautiful Bottom, Beautiful Shame: Where "Black" Meets "Queer" (Series Q) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Shame, Kathryn Bond Stockton argues in Beautiful Bottom, Beautiful Shame, has often been a meeting place for the signs “black” and “queer” and for black and queer people—overlapping groups who have been publicly marked as degraded and debased. But when and why have certain forms of shame been embraced by blacks and queers? How does debasement foster attractions? How is it used for aesthetic delight? What does it offer for projects of sorrow and ways of creative historical knowing? How and why is it central to camp?

Stockton engages the domains of African American studies, queer theory, psychoanalysis, film theory, photography, semiotics, and gender studies. She brings together thinkers rarely, if ever, read together in a single study—James Baldwin, Radclyffe Hall, Jean Genet, Toni Morrison, Robert Mapplethorpe, Eldridge Cleaver, Todd Haynes, Norman Mailer, Leslie Feinberg, David Fincher, and Quentin Tarantino—and reads them with and against major theorists, including Georges Bataille, Sigmund Freud, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Jacques Lacan, Roland Barthes, and Leo Bersani. Stockton asserts that there is no clear, mirrored relation between the terms “black” and “queer”; rather, seemingly definitive associations attached to each are often taken up or crossed through by the other. Stockton explores dramatic switchpoints between these terms: the stigmatized “skin” of some queers’ clothes, the description of blacks as an “economic bottom,” the visual force of interracial homosexual rape, the complicated logic of so-called same-sex miscegenation, and the ways in which a famous depiction of slavery (namely, Morrison’s Beloved) seems bound up with depictions of AIDS. All of the thinkers Stockton considers scrutinize the social nature of shame as they examine the structures that make debasements possible, bearable, pleasurable, and creative, even in their darkness.


The relationship between black queer subjects and debasement as portrayed within popular culture texts and films.

About the Author

Kathryn Bond Stockton is Professor of English and Director of Gender Studies at the University of Utah. She is the author of God Between Their Lips: Desire Between Women in Irigaray, Brontë, and Eliot.

Product Details

Stockton, Kathryn Bond
Duke University Press
le Aina
Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky
Barale, Mich&egrave
Goldberg, Jonathan
le Aina Barale
Moon, Michael
Gay Studies
American fiction
Homosexuality and literature
Homosexuality in literature
African Americans in literature
Gay and Lesbian-General
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series Q
Publication Date:
16 bandw photos
8.88 x 5.75 in

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Gay and Lesbian » Fiction and Poetry » General

Beautiful Bottom, Beautiful Shame: Where "Black" Meets "Queer" (Series Q) New Trade Paper
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Product details 288 pages Duke University Press - English 9780822337966 Reviews:
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The relationship between black queer subjects and debasement as portrayed within popular culture texts and films.
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