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On thinking the matter through, it doesn't seem exaggerated to assert that my coming out of the sexual closet, my desire to assume and assert my homosexuality, coincided within my personal trajectory with my shutting myself up inside what I might call a class closet. -- from Returning to Reims After his father dies, Didier Eribon returns to his hometown of Reims and rediscovers the working-class world he had left behind thirty years earlier. For years, Eribon had thought of his father largely in terms of the latter's intolerable homophobia. Yet his father's death provokes new reflection on Eribon's part about how multiple processes of domination intersect in a given life and in a given culture. Eribon sets out to investigate his past, the history of his family, and the trajectory of his own life. His story weaves together a set of remarkable reflections on the class system in France, on the role of the educational system in class identity, on the way both class and sexual identities are formed, and on the recent history of French politics, including the shifting voting patterns of the working classes -- reflected by Eribon's own family, which changed its allegiance from the Communist Party to the National Front. Returning to Reims is a remarkable book of sociological inquiry and critical theory, of interest to anyone concerned with the direction of leftist politics in the contemporary world, and to anyone who has ever experienced how sexual identity can clash with other parts of one's identity. A huge success in France since its initial publication in 2009, Returning to Reims received enthusiastic reviews in Le Monde, Libération, L'Express, Les Inrockuptibles, and elsewhere.
This passionate love letter to opera, lavishly praised and nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award when it was first published, is now firmly established as a cult classic. In a learned, moving, and sparklingly witty melange of criticism, subversion, and homage, Wayne Koestenbaum illuminates mysteries of fandom and obsession, and has created an exuberant work of personal meditation and cultural history.
‘My first week I learned that people refer to ILLC as “illsee”. Emphasis on ‘ill’. The Illinois Learning and Life Skills Center may not sound like the name of a nursing home, but that’s how they work it. Naming these places is all about misdirection. Inside, it smells, sounds, and looks like your standard-issue nursing home. Same old wolf but in a lamb outfit.’ Told in alternating perspectives by a varied cast of characters, Good Kings, Bad Kings is a powerful and inspiring debut that invites us into the lives of a group of teenagers and staff who live at the ILLC. From Yessenia, who dreams of her next boyfriend, to Teddy, a resident who dresses up daily in a full suit and tie, and Mia, who guards a terrifying secret, Nussbaum has crafted a multifaceted portrait of a way of life that challenges our definitions of what it means to be disabled. In a story told with remarkable authenticity, their voices resound with resilience, courage and humour.
A fascinating look at a gay world that was not supposed to have existed, this book shows that gay life in prewar New York was not only remarkably visible but extensively integrated into the straight world.
Angry debate over gay marriage has divided the nation as no other issue since the Vietnam War. Why has marriage suddenly emerged as the most explosive issue in the gay struggle for equality? At times it seems to have come out of nowhere-but in fact it has a history. George Chauncey offers an electrifying analysis of the history of the shifting attitudes of heterosexual Americans toward gay people, from the dramatic growth in acceptance to the many campaigns against gay rights that form the background to today's demand for a constitutional amendment. Chauncey illuminates what's at stake for both sides of this contentious debate in this essential book for gay and straight readers alike.
At the time of his death in 1984, at the age of fifty-eight, Michel Foucault was widely regarded as one of the most powerful minds of this century. Hailed by distinguished historians and lionized on his frequent visits to America, he continues to provoke lively debate. The nature and merits of his accomplishments remain tangled in controversy. Rejecting traditional liberal and Marxist "dreams of solidarity," Foucault became the very model of the modern intellectual, replacing Sartre as the figure of the eminent Parisian and cosmopolitan master thinker. Foucault himself discouraged biographical questions, claiming that he was "not at all interesting." Didier Eribon's captivating account overthrows that assertion. As a journalist well acquainted with Foucault for years before his death, Eribon was particularly well placed to conduct the dozens of interviews which are the cornerstone of this book. He has drawn upon eyewitness accounts by Foucault's closest associates from all phases of his life--his mother, his schoolteachers, his classmates, his friends and enemies in academic life, and his celebrated companions in political activism, including Simone Signoret and Yves Montand. Eribon has methodically retraced the footsteps of his peripatetic subject, from France to Sweden to Poland to Germany to Tunisia to Brazil to Japan to the United States. The result is a concise, crisply readable, meticulously documented narrative that debunks the many myths and rumors surrounding the brilliant philosophe--and forces us to consider seriously the idea that all his books are indeed, just as Foucault said near the end of his life, "fragments of an autobiography." Who was this man, Michel Foucault? In the late 1950s Foucault emerged as a budding young cultural attaché, friendly with Gaullist diplomats. By the mid-1960s he appeared as one of the avatars of structuralism, positioning himself as a new star in the fashionable world of French thought. A few months after the May 1968 student revolt, with Gaullism apparently shaken, he emerged as an ultra-leftist and a fellow traveler of Maoists. Yet during this same period, Eribon shows, he was quietly and adroitly campaigning for a chair in the College de France--the very pinnacle of the French academic system. This book does more than follow the career of one extraordinary intellectual. It reconstructs the cultural, political, and intellectual life of France from the postwar years to the present. It is the story of a man and his time.
Part of JRP|Ringer's innovative Documentsseries, published with Les Presses du Reel and dedicated to critical writings, this publication comprises a unique collection of interviews by Hans Ulrich Obrist mapping the development of the curatorial field--from early independent curators in the 1960s and 70s and the experimental institutional programs developed in Europe and the U.S. through the inception of Documenta and the various biennales and fairs--with pioneering curators Anne D'Harnoncourt, Werner Hoffman, Jean Leering, Franz Meyer, Seth Siegelaub, Walter Zanini, Johannes Cladders, Lucy Lippard, Walter Hopps, Pontus Hulten and Harald Szeemann. Speaking of Szeemann on the occasion of this legendary curator's death in 2005, critic Aaron Schuster summed up, "the image we have of the curator today: the curator-as-artist, a roaming, freelance designer of exhibitions, or in his own witty formulation, a 'spiritual guest worker'... If artists since Marcel Duchamp have affirmed selection and arrangement as legitimate artistic strategies, was it not simply a matter of time before curatorial practice--itself defined by selection and arrangement--would come to be seen as an art that operates on the field of art itself?"

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