Category Archives: cultural studies

January 15, 2013, 2:47 pm

It’s Queer Work If You Can Get It: The Celebrity Coming Out Speech

Sue Sylvester sez: just announce it, Jodie. Photo credit.

This week, in the aftermath of another Christ on a cracker we already knew banal celebrity coming out speech the action was hot on Tenured Radical‘s Facebook page. I had responded to the irritating status prompt “How are you feeling, Claire?” by writing that I was “feeling”:

…a little puzzled as to why Jodie Foster needed to do the drama queen thing about coming out at the Golden Globes. Since we all knew she was a lesbian, a press release would have been fine.

I have received many likes (I like to be liked) and many comments, only one of which has accused me of unfairly silencing the little lamb. How many ways can I describe my annoyance that Foster chose her acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award (for excellence…

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January 13, 2013, 11:38 am

Before Gay Was Good: Bob Mizer’s Aesthetic Legacy

Bob Mizer, @ 1942. Photo credit.

Yesterday your favorite Radical took some time off and bicycled over Manhattan to see the Bob Mizer show at Invisible Exports, a tiny gallery on Orchard Street. Born in southern Idaho, Mizer (1922-1992) was an early physique photographer, filmmaker  and the founder of Los Angeles’s Athletic Model Guild. This post over at Remains of the Web can give you a brief history of his career, as well as an account of the Bob Mizer Foundation, established to catalogue and preserve the capacious archive he left behind.

The gallery made the wise decision to show only a few conventional portraits. Much of the exhibit is made up of “catalogues,” storyboards Mizer created from contact prints, each of which depict an erotic scene (for example, “The Cowboy and the Bandit” or “The Unfaithful…

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January 10, 2013, 9:20 am

Department of Fluff: Cultural Studies Fun With British People

Margaret “Daisy” Suckley is on the far left. Photo credit.

This has been Mass Market British Culture Week at chez Radical (perhaps tomorrow we will have an Austin Powers festival.) So far we have been:

A Day Late and a Pound Short. Monday I watched the first episode of Downton Abbey, Season Three, broadcast on Sunday. It clocked in at almost two hours, which was a bit like lying on the couch eating salt water taffy for the evening. I can’t tell you anything very specific about the episode because I am sure there are people out there who have not watched it yet.  I do have a few comments:

  • Memories of the class warfare theme from #election2012 are still vivid. This may be why I was particularly struck by how the series has settled in to an utterly specious and ahistorical fantasy about the harmonious…

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December 31, 2012, 11:25 am

Tenured Radical’s New Media: Best Discoveries of 2012

How do other bloggers keep up the page and still find time to read and watch new stuff? How do they even manage to read the newspaper every day — and if they do, how do they find time to read anything else? And if they read, how do they find time to watch TV?

This year, I did take Facebook off my iPhone: that saved about an hour a day. I’m going to take it off my iPad in 2013.

With this caveat about how much I miss in our media-rich environment, I offer you my best discoveries of last year. Remember, to make the Radical’s “Best of” media list, you don’t have to be new — just new to me. You cannot, however, win a prize if you are my friend (which, for example, would rule out awarding best blog relaunch to Madwoman with a Laptop, so we are leaving that crown vacant this year, or best #ASA2012 panel to Historiann, Madwoman, GayProf, Tenured Radical, and The Woman Formerly Known as…

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December 27, 2012, 5:23 pm

Kid Knowledge: An Interview With J. Jack Halberstam (Part II)

SpongeBob SquarePants, a veritable font of gaga kid knowledge, debuted on the Nickelodeon channel in 1999.

Halberstam and I planned part II of this interview about Gaga Feminism: Sex Gender and the End of Normal (Beacon 2012) around the topic of taking the observations of children seriously. History then intervened.  In Sandy Hook, CT, 20 children and 7 adults were shot to death by a young man barely beyond adolescence himself; suddenly, this post became difficult and poignant. However, as Jack pointed out in an email, “perhaps it is even more appropriate” to talk about what children know, and what they care about, at this time.

I agree. We at Tenured Radical honor all of the deceased in Sandy Hook by reminding ourselves of why adult teachers, six of whom deliberately sacrificed their own lives for their…

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October 13, 2012, 2:12 pm

What’s The Problem With Uncle Poodle? A Queer Southern Historian And Her Critics

A regular guy? Photo credit.

When is a poodle not a poodle? When that poodle is gay Uncle Poodle.

On the season finale of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, a reality television show about the life and times of a seven year-old beauty pageant contestant in Georgia, some portion of the civilized world was introduced to Lee Thompson, Honey Boo Boo’s “Uncle Poodle.”  The rest of us learned about him in a New York Times op-ed piece by UNC – Charlotte cultural historian Karen Cox, most recently the author of Dreaming of Dixie: How the South Was Created in American Popular Culture (University of North Carolina Press, 2011). Perhaps in anticipation of National Coming Out Day, Cox used Uncle Poodle’s entrance onto the national stage as an opportunity to suggest that there is more than one way to be out and proud in America….

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October 11, 2012, 2:39 pm

Lesbian Nation; Or, Why MItt Romney Would Cut Off Federal Funds to Lower Manhattan

In the spring of 2013, my university is going to be celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique (W.W. Norton, 1963). It’s particularly fitting that we do it here at the New School for Public Engagement, I think, because a big part of our mission is to reach out to adults and non-traditional students who want to finish a college education that was foreclosed or interrupted. Although Betty Friedan was not that person, her activism and writing nonetheless caused women to finish their educations and get back in the workforce.

Betty Friedan was not so good on lesbians, however, causing people like Kate Millett and Ti-Grace Atkinson to abandon Friedan’s fledgling National Organization for Women in facor of the rock ‘em, sock ‘em world of radical feminism. Hence, let me be perhaps hte first to point out that 2013 will also be the fortieth anniversary of…

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September 23, 2012, 11:53 am

An Eskimo in Egypt-land

O’Donoghue, who refused to write an SNL sketch for the Muppets: “I won’t write for felt.”

Today’s guest blogger is Jennifer Finney Boylan, Professor of English at Colby College. She is the author of twelve books, including the Falcon Quinn series for young adults and the memoir trilogy She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders (2003), I’m Looking Through You: Growing Up Haunted (2008) and Stuck in the Middle With You: Parenthood in Three Genders (forthcoming in 2013). 

Comedian Michael O’Donoghue once wrote a poem that began, “A blizzard blew an Eskimo way down to Egypt-land. He found they had no word for snow, and he no word for sand.” The poem goes on to describe the Egyptian and the Eskimo’s search for a common language, “the thing that each man shares.”

O’Donoghue was, of course, better known…

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September 13, 2012, 10:20 am

WWII Vet Stuart Hodes Headed to Top of Rap Charts at 87

In work avoidance mode this morning, I was scanning Facebook (when, oh when, will I have the courage to leave Facebook?) when I stumbled on this gem.  Stuart Hodes, who blogs at 101% American, is 87 years old, a veteran of World War II, and a former bomber pilot.  In the video re-posted below, “Mitt Romney Rap,” he summarizes the GOP presidential candidate’s biography, as well as the history of the Romney family in the Americas.  Words and original posting can be found here.

Hodes, who has been blogging since 2011 and believes that the path to deficit reduction means paying his fair share of taxes, comes by his history chops honestly.

September 1, 2012, 10:23 am

Tenured Radical’s New Media Adventures

Yesterday I had the opportunity to participate in a new Huffington Post feature called HuffPost Live. My segment — on marriage equality — was hosted by Janet Varney, who once had a part on one of my all-time favorite shows, Entourage (2004-2011).

I can’t figure out how to embed the video (perhaps because it is unembeddable?) but you can access Tenured Radical discussing the question of whether the government ought to get out of the business of marriage altogether here.

As you can see if you click on the link, it’s a web broadcast with a live chat feature on the right. There is a central studio in Los Angeles, where they sometimes have sit down guests: our feature was done via a Google+ Hangout, a video chat feature that allows up to nine people to join a conversation.

One obvious feature of doing a digital media event — aside from the fact that it is fun — is that in a …

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