Congratulations to Professor John Clum (Duke University) on the glowing review of his book Terrence McNally and Fifty Years of American Gay Drama in Theatre Journal, which lauds the book as “a must read for everyone interested in American theatre and LGBT studies.” The journal praises the book further because of its “rigorous scholarship and clarity”, noting that “Clum enriches his book by providing extensive historical context that situates McNally’s plays in their contemporary social and cultural milieu; at the same time he makes his survey of McNally and contemporary American gay drama seem exceedingly relevant.”
Congratulations to Professor Lynne Greeley (University of Vermont) on the outstanding review of her book Fearless Femininity by Women in American Theatre (1910s to 2010s) in the journal Women’s History Review.
The book review praises Fearless Femininity because:
Greeley has assembled a very large ‘cast’ of female artists: their ranks include the ‘first feminists’ (p. 215) Megan Terry and Bobbi Ausubel; Martha Boesing, cofounder of the feminist Minneapolis theatre company, At the Foot of the Mountain; Spiderwoman Theater, the Indigenous all-female (and all family) company; and commercially successful representatives of ‘third-wave’ feminism, such as playwrights Eve Ensler, Rivka Solomon, and Sarah Ruhl. Greeley also discusses the work of playwrights and performers who challenge not just the masculinity of American theatre but confront its whiteness and hetero-normativity: Latina playwright Caridad Svich; African American playwright Lynn Nottage; and artists Adelina Anthony, Young Jean Lee, and Najla Said, who (respectively) work from the perspectives of Ch/Xicana, queer, Asian American,and Arab/Palestinian American theatre and performance. Greeley brings to her research a deep-rooted knowledge of both American theatre history and feminist work’s place within it. Throughout the book she stresses women’s choices, their agency and activism, in crafting female or female-identified characters, ones made in the face of an art form and profession that has historically been dominated by men.
The journal review further recommends the book because “students of American theatre history, American women’s and gender history, and the histories of American feminism will have much to learn from Greeley’s own fearless approach to her subject.”
This interdisciplinary study, written in a highly accessible style, will have both specialists and nonspecialists appreciating it for how it vividly brings to life the terror inflicted by the state on its people and how it continues to affect them. Tying sociology with history, psychology, and politics, this book will not only add depth to the fields of culture and memory studies but also broaden the scope of understanding for literary works which weave in trauma of Latin American history.
“A groundbreaking study for anyone interested in crimes against humanity and their haunting transgenerational legacy.” —GABRIELE M. SCHWAB, Chancellor’s Professor, University of California, Irvine
Dr. Fried will speak about her book
at the special LASA author session
on Sunday morning
(May 29) at 9:45 a.m. in the book exhibit hall at the Hilton.
“An interesting, enjoyable and instructive example to other nations and cultures about how the powerful get to tell everyone else what their culture is even if the evidence doesn’t support it.” —Sounds and Colours
“Innovative in its transatlantic scope, and is a valuable contribution to attempts to reconsider the role and status of the poet in globalized-—and especially neoliberal-—socioeconomic context.” —A contra corriente
“Una recomendable monografía para aquellos que quieran profundizar en el cine y la Argentina de los dos primeros mandatos de Perón (1946–55) … Thompson cita numerosas y relevantes fuentes a lo largo de todo el volumen, que servirán para apoyar sus argumentos, así como para ilustrar sus ejemplos.” —Hispania
“It is entirely revitalizing to see a work devoted to the Central American avant-garde that both grounds its focus critically and keeps its focus on both the aesthetics and politics that grounded the literary production of the vanguardia in the early 20th century. A very welcomed addition to the corpus of writings on the avant-garde, valuable to students and scholars of Central American literature,and those studying the avant-garde from any region.” —A contra corriente
“Carefully researched and generously illustrated, Lauren Beck’s book offers a thorough study of primary sources, both textual and visual, on the cultural construction of the enemy in Spanish culture. … The case of Spanish culture is particularly interesting because the Spaniards have been active in the creation of stereotypes of their enemies and at the same time they have been the object of similar processes of cultural construction by other European nations.” —Bulletin of Hispanic Studies
“Offers insightful and nuanced interpretations of selected canonical Chicana writers … focused on the interlocking structure of discriminatory discourses of classism, racism, sexism, and homophobia. Indeed, her discussion of queer Chicana motherhood and patriarchal heterosexism … offers a very productive model for critically embedding queer representations of sexual and gender formation in the context of allied ‘straight’ texts.” —Contemporary Women’s Writing
This book will push understandings of membership and identities in Africa and the African diaspora forward though unique and insightful discussions on Pan-Africanism and African freedom, British colonialism and African spaces, the politics of Brazilian baianas, linguistic and cultural Africanisms in the Caribbean, identities in postcolonial francophone literature, and much more.
“The memory of slavery and the slave trade has strongly influenced how history is understood. What is remembered and why are clearly identified as major historical themes of analysis in this valuable collection.” —Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies
“With great courage, sharp intuition and professional dedication the editors have tackled some of the most controversial issues of historical revision and imaginative projection linked to the slave trade all over the world … Praise be to them for gathering such a relevant instrument of research, and for opening new perspectives in the field.” —European Journal of American Studies
Integrating research from the various fields of humanities and social sciences is more important than ever, which is why Cambria series are interdisciplinary. Click on each series link to see the books in the series.
LGBT teens face not only the usual teenage coming-of-age anxieties but also issues ranging from isolation, prejudice, bullying to even suicide and murder. As Clum and Metzger note in their introduction:
“Continued anti-LGBT violence (witness the shooting of 15-year old Larry King in 2008) provides a haunting backdrop for the narratives in this book. These murders intersect with other forms of related queer violence, including bullying and suicide, that have received intermittent attention in US media; however, the suicide of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi in 2010 renewed this focus.”
Since then, preventative efforts have been made. Among these Clum and Metzger noted are:
“the It Gets Better Project is that it uses social media networks to respond to new forms of harassment, including cyberbullying. It Gets Better encourages young people to endure the present in hopes of living for a brighter future. This call for endurance —a kind of survival model—perhaps assumes too easily that trauma can be locked away in the past. From White Plains, contained in this volume, suggests that such trauma can cripple the people involved.”
On the playbill for From White Plains, it states: “Just Because It Gets Better Doesn’t Mean It Didn’t Happen.” Calling out the wrongs and reinforcing messages of social justice, which speak out against homophobia and anti-LGBT reactions, is critical for in order for society’s continued progress.
Performance permeates every aspect of our everyday lives. Power relationships are constructed through performances. Understanding how performances unfold around us can help us to recognize and take control of the power dynamics that affect us.
#3 Social Change
Theatre is a cultural space where society examines itself in a mirror. Theatre has long been looked at as a laboratory in which we can study the problems that confront society and attempt to solve those problems.”
Theatre as a mirror for society has been effective; Clum and Metzger observed that “All of these plays have received powerful productions at theatres across America and Canada.” They also added that when they selected these plays, “Our goal was ethnic, racial, and geographical diversity as well as diversity of theme and style.”
In addition to highlighting LGBT teen issues in these diverse ways, the plays in Awkward Stages: Plays About Growing Up Gay also showcases, as Clum and Metzger mentioned, “the vitality and variety of contemporary North American drama.”
Try to catch these plays at your local theatre or at a theatre in a city you’re visiting. For those who have already seen the plays, this book is be an excellent complement in thinking further about the plays and their layers. For those who have not, this book is a fine introduction and will definitely make you want to catch the plays.
On the performance of the feminine no longer belonging to men:
“From the beginning of the twentieth century, when women were claiming the right to be in a public space while keeping their private reputations intact, to the beginning of the twenty-first century, when female artists claim and display their own bodies by choice, artists in American theatre have proved that the performance of the feminine no longer belongs to a mystique created by men but to the women who choose to be and do and sell as they please.”
On the idea of femininity:
“Whether contemporary females, transgender, or queer people love, hate, or are indifferent to the idea of femininity, their cultural conditioning creates personal responses to it that are rarely neutral. What is new about this writing is the demonstration of the intimate relationship between femininity and feminism, a combination that has created a century of powerful—and not always feminine—feminists.”
Browse the book by clicking here. Order by April 30 and take 35% off the hardcover list price–use coupon code CAMBRIA188 at www.cambriapress.com).