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In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives

by Judith Halberstam New York University Press
Pub Date:
01/2005
ISBN:
9780814735855
Format:
Pbk 213 pages
Price:
AU$52.99 NZ$55.64
Product Status: Available in Approx 5 days
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In a Queer Time and Place opens with a probing analysis of the life and death of Brandon Teena, a young transgender man who was brutally murdered in small-town Nebraska. After looking at mainstream representations of the transgender body as exhibited in the media frenzy surrounding this highly visible case and the Oscar-winning film based on Brandon's story, Boys Don't Cry, Halberstam turns her attention to the cultural and artistic production of queers themselves. She examines the ''transgender gaze,'' as rendered in small art-house films like By Hook or By Crook, as well as figurations of ambiguous embodiment in the art of Del LaGrace Volcano, Jenny Saville, Eva Hesse, Shirin Neshat, and others. She then exposes the influence of lesbian drag king cultures upon hetero-male comic films, such as Austin Powers and The Full Monty, and, finally, points to dyke subcultures as one site for the development of queer counterpublics and queer temporalities.Considering the sudden visibility of the transgender body in the early twenty-first century against the backdrop of changing conceptions of space and time, In a Queer Time and Place is the first full-length study of transgender representations in art, fiction, film, video, and music. This pioneering book offers both a jumping off point for future analysis of transgenderism and an important new way to understand cultural constructions of time and place. “Halberstam's marvelous new book combines fierce argumentation, vivid description, and astute as well as hilarious commentary. The author not only provides a powerful critique of common defenses and dismissals of 'postmodernism,' but offers a redefinition of 'identity politics' for the new millennium as well.—Lisa Duggan, author of Twilight of Equality?: Neoliberalism, Cultural Politics, and the Attack on Democracy ''An extremely honest and provocative book. Judith Halberstam's In A Queer Time and Place both validates and admires the beauty of the transperson as well as the genderqueer in this new era of identity performance. It is an incredible portrayal of the partnership between trans issues and gay and lesbian issues that I applaud with a full heart.''—JD Samson, from the band Le Tigre

Acknowledgments 
1 Queer Temporality and Postmodern Geographies
2 The Brandon Archive 
3 Unlosing Brandon: Brandon Teena, Billy Tipton, and Transgender Biography 
4 The Transgender Look 
5 Technotopias: Representing Transgender Bodies in Contemporary Art 
6 Oh Behave! Austin Powers and the Drag Kings 
7 What’s That Smell? Queer Temporalities and Subcultural Lives 
Notes 
Bibliography 
Index 
About the Author 

'Halberstam's marvelous new book combines fierce argumentation, vivid description, astute as well as hilarious commentary. The author not only provides a powerful critique of common defenses and dismissals of 'postmodernism,' but offers a redefinition of 'identity politics' for the new millennium as well.' - Lisa Duggan, author of Twilight of Equality: Neoliberalism, Cultural Politics, and the Attack on Democracy 'The wide-ranging scope of (Halberstam's) work both serves to make her book accessible to many kinds of readers as well as to show the wide scope in which her argument registers. This makes her book a joy to read. Similarly, her wit and ability to capture large theoretical terms in rich and layered (and funny!) images contributes to the pleasure of this book of 'theory.' - The Cream City Review 'This small seductive book pours warmth as Halberstam confesses and connects movements of pop culture and high art to a deeper understanding of the potentials of the body. She includes us in her world and its privileged understanding of her subject....In a Queer Time displays Halberstam's sophisticated understanding of contemporary culture in a plain and engaging tone.' - Pop Matters 'An extremely honest and provocative book. Judith Halberstam's In A Queer Time and Place both validates and admires the beauty of the transperson as well as the genderqueer in this new era of identity performance. It is an incredible portrayal of the partnership between trans issues and gay and lesbian issues that I applaud with a full heart.' - JD Samson, from the band Le Tigre 'Halberstam's text is academically important, critiquing identity politics and examining uncommon but essential transgender representations in art, film, and society.' - The Bloomsbury Review
Judith Halberstam is professor of literature at UC San Diego. She is the author of Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters, Female Masculinity and coauthor with Del LaGrace Volcano of The Drag King Book.