The Phoenix Network:
 
 
About  |  Advertise
Adult  |  Moonsigns  |  Blogs  |  In Pictures
 

Literally LGBT

A community-compiled list of important GBLTQ works
By PHOENIX STAFF  |  October 31, 2014

University of Southern Maine professors Lucinda Cole and Wendy Chapkis, Portlander erin purnell, and the Phoenix’s own have chosen books which they find to be worthy of our fledgling queer curriculum. Professor Cole teaches two courses through the English Department at USM: her Sex, Species and Sci-Fi course draws upon animal studies and eco-feminism to analyze gender relations in American science fiction, and Professor Chapkis teaches classic texts in trans issues and queer theory in gender politics and sociology courses. You might recognize erin’s name from the summer edition of Out in Maine—they’re a co-founder of Fruit Punch Productions, self-described as a “feminist, sex positive, queer-owned outfit with a vision for porn that blurs the line between art and smut.” The three have helped us compile a list of agency-giving, identity-affirming titles, and we let them describe the books in their own words.

_by LUCINDA COLE:

 lit_silentspring_main

Rachel Carson, Silent Spring (1962)
Many people regard Carson’s expose of widespread pesticide use as the beginning of the modern North American environmental movement. Scratch an environmental scientist over the age of 50 and chances are they were propelled into their field because of this book. It’s also fascinating, if troubling, to look at the responses from industry, most of which attacked her on the grounds of gender.

 lit_memoirsofaspacewoman_ma

Naomi Mitchison, Memoirs of a Spacewoman (1962)
Naomi Mitchison, who was born in 1897, wrote this sci-fi novel—one of her 90 books-- at the age of 65. Its narrator is a “communicator” trained to make contact with non-human species, such as alien “grafts” who grow on human and animal host bodies, and giant sentient butterflies who prohibit any form of pleasure in their larval young, so as to ensure “proper” development. The novel raises all kinds of ethical questions about sex, sexualities, gender, and species.

 lit_ammonite_main

Nicola Griffith, Ammonite (1993) 
Griffith, a self-identified “dyke,” set out to write a novel about a world composed solely of women. She wanted to explode the literary stereotypes about such women being either booted and leather-wearing Lara-Croft type Amazons or, alternatively, fairy-like non-violent vegans. Ammonite offers many different points of identification, and tells a good story.

 lit_undertheskin_main

Michel Faber, Under the Skin (2001)
Yes, it’s a provocative film, but it’s also a deeply disturbing novel about how heteronormativity, speciesism, and economic exploitation are entangled. The original Isserley is a furry mammal who, in order to escape back-breaking work for the 1 percent in an off-world mine, submits to surgical alteration; she hunts “vodsels”—humans--who, once fattened, slaughtered, and packaged, are served to the wealthy. As a thought experiment for the twenty-first century, Under the Skin can’t be beat.

_by WENDY CHAPKIS:

 lit_zami_main

Audre Lorde, Zami: A New Spelling of My Name (1982)
An autobiography by poet and essayist Audre Lorde recounting her life growing up in Harlem and coming of age as a “gay girl” in Greenwich Village of the 1950s. Her account of being black, female, and queer offers a complex examination of difference: “Being women together was not enough. We were different. Being gay-girls together was not enough. We were different. Being Black together was not enough. We were different. Being Black women together was not enough. We were different. Being Black dykes together was not enough. We were different.” (p. 226)

1  |  2  |  3  |   next >
| More


ARTICLES BY PHOENIX STAFF
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   MICHAUD FOR GOVERNOR  |  November 03, 2014
    However you’ve been following the race for Governor this election season, you’ve been hearing it from all sides, so we’ll make this one brief. We urge you to vote for Michael Michaud.
  •   ADVANCED BEAUTY LESSONS  |  November 03, 2014
    Described as a “body-positive visibility project,” Portland’s Jack Tar 207 is all about representation. Models are encouraged to bring their own clothing and personal belongings to the shoot, which owner-designer LK Weiss says brings out “a level of confidence that many people don’t feel in front of a camera.”
  •   LITERALLY LGBT  |  October 31, 2014
    A community-compiled list of important GBLTQ works through the years.  
  •   DEAR PROVIDENCE PHOENIX...  |  October 15, 2014
    Some made us chuckle, others made us choke up.
  •   BACK TO REALITY  |  September 18, 2014
    If you’re a student in southern Maine and are at all interested in arts and humanities, and have a budget of exactly $10 to spend on any one event, there’s a lot in your favor.

 See all articles by: PHOENIX STAFF



  |  Sign In  |  Register
 
thePhoenix.com:
Phoenix Media/Communications Group:
TODAY'S FEATURED ADVERTISERS
Copyright © 2017 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group