Gender & Sexuality / Theater / Cultural Studies / British History / Literature & Criticism


The Gendering of Men, 1600–1750
Volume 2, Queer Articulations
Thomas A. King

Queer Articulations is sure to become the standard work on perceptions of eighteenth-century sexuality and masculinity.”—Hans Turley, University of Connecticut

The queer man’s mode of embodiment—his gestural and vocal style, his posture and gait, his occupation of space—remembers a political history. To gesture with the elbow held close to the body, to affect a courtly lisp, or to set an arm akimbo with the hand turned back on the hip is to cite a history in which the sovereign body became the effeminate and sodomitical and, finally, the homosexual body. In Queer Articulations, Thomas A. King argues that the Anglo-American queer body publicizes a history of resistance to the gendered terms whereby liberal subjectivities were secured in early modern England.

Arguing that queer agency preceded and enabled the formulation of queer subjectivities, Queer Articulations investigates theatricality and sodomy as performance practices foreclosed in the formation of gendered privacy and consequently available for resistant uses by male-bodied persons who have been positioned, or who have located themselves, outside the universalized public sphere of citizen-subjects. By defining queerness as the lack or failure of private pleasures, rather than an alternative pleasure or substance in its own right, eighteenth-century discourses reconfigured publicness as the mark of difference from the naturalized, private bodies of liberal subjects.

Inviting a performance-centered, interdisciplinary approach to queer/male identities, King develops a model of queerness as processual activity, situated in time and place but irreducible to the individual subject’s identifications, desires, and motivations.

“Speech and gesture from the past are very hard to document: this book opens new doors.”—Randolph Trumbach, Baruch College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York

Queer Articulations confirms that Thomas A. King is a leading scholarly voice on the historical complexities of Enlightenment sexuality and gender. King’s sophisticated performance analysis produces a rich genealogy of queer practices rather than a history of queer subjectivities, offering the challenging point that queerness is at the heart of what modernity’s social and political agenda silently disavows.”—Raymond Stephanson, University of Saskatchewan

Thomas A. King is associate professor of English at Brandeis University, where he teaches early modern and eighteenth-century studies, gender and queer studies, and performance studies. Prior to his teaching career, King worked as an A.E.A. stage manager in Chicago. He is the author of The Gendering of Men, 1600–1750: Volume 1, The English Phallus, also published by the University of Wisconsin Press.

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Of Related Interest
The Gendering of Men, 1600–1750
Volume 1, The English Phallus
Thomas A. King

the cover of King's book is green, with an old illustration of a man looking at a nude statue of a man standing in a noticably "s" shaped pose.
July 2008
LC: 2003022357 PR
536 pp.  6 x 9
47 b/w illustrations
ISBN-13: 978-0-299-22620-6 Cloth $65.00 s


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