Tamsin Wilton's Lesbian Studies: Setting an Agenda PDF

By Tamsin Wilton

Neither women's reports nor lesbian and homosexual experiences deals an enough theoretical or political base for lesbian scholarship. Lesbian stories: environment and schedule goal to advertise lesbian stories as an instructional and political method of either gender and the erotic, and to explain the harmful impact of heterosexism throughout a variety of disciplines. Drawing on feminism and queer thought, Tamsin Wilton argues that `lesbian' is a theoretical place which needs to be extensively on hand as a way to problem the dominance of the heterosexual standpoint. attractive with theoretical and political debates, the publication strikes past its position of atmosphere an schedule for lesbian reviews right into a wider function as source and catalysts for a person drawn to gender and the erotic.

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To what extent can ‘lesbian’ be used as an historical constant? Is it possible to use the word even for women living in the early part of our own century and know that the word meant then what it means now? Is the ‘lesbian’ of Djuna Barnes the same as the ‘lesbian’ of Pat Parker? Such questions, familiar in the context of contemporary historicity, which recognises the contingency of social roles and of moral, legal and religious concepts, begin to unsettle our certainty about something fondly presumed to be a basic and fundamental aspect of human nature—sexuality itself.

The relative acceptance accorded anti-lesbian sentiment is revealed when one considers what the response would be to anti-working class, anti-Black, anti-disabled or anti-woman poetry. 6 I use the terms ‘lesbian and gay community’ or ‘gay community’ in the full knowledge that the notion of a community among lesbians and gay men is a problematic one. However, I believe it is important to recognise that there do exist loose networks of lesbian and gay peoples both within individual towns/cities/countries and organising around specific issues (such as HIV/ AIDS or cultural activism), as well as what might be described as an international lesbian and gay network.

1 Affirmation Faced with a culture which derides and denies lesbianism, it has clearly been crucial, both in the context of what may be thought of as ‘postStonewall’8 lesbian and gay politics and in the context of feminism, to reclaim lesbian history. Research into lesbian lives and into different attitudes towards lesbianism in different cultures and at different historical periods has taken The nature of lesbian studies 19 place within both the larger feminist project of reclaiming women’s history and gay scholarship recovering what has been erased from history.

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