Acts of Gaiety
LGBT Performance and the Politics of Pleasure
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: University of Michigan Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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At approximately 7:00 p.m. on May 1, 1970, just moments after Kate Millett, chairwoman of the National Organization for Women (NOW), called to order the second annual gathering of feminist groups from across the country, the lights in the auditorium at Intermediate School 70 on West Seventeenth...
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I am indebted to and deeply grateful for the individuals who have inspired, encouraged, and nurtured my intellectual development and for the communities that have supported the researching and writing of this book. Colleagues, mentors, students, family, and friends in a range of locales have...
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Once an sobriquet for eccentrics and a slur for sexual deviants, queer became, in the 1990s, a diacritical term for a wide-ranging political movement and nuanced scholarly critique of normative regimes, phobic policies, and structural inequalities. Queer theory and activism dramatized, often...
1. “Scummy” Acts: Valerie Solanas’s Theater of the Ludicrous
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On May 10, 1965, a twenty-nine- year- old aspiring dramatist named Valerie Jean Solanas registered an unpublished one-act play with the US Copyright Office. Solanas called her satirical comedy Up Your Ass, but the official title listed on her application is From the Cradle to the Boat, or Up from the Slime....
2. Guerrilla Acts: Marriage Protests, 1969 and 2009
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Florynce Kennedy and Ti-Grace Atkinson’s defense of Valerie Solanas, against the express wishes of Betty Friedan, incited rancor within the ranks of NOW. Citing “irreconcilable ideological conflicts,” Atkinson resigned as president of the New York chapter of NOW and founded the October 17th...
3. Expatriate Acts: Jill Johnston’s Joker Citizenship
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On August 9, 1970, Ethel “Spike” Scull and her husband Bob, a taxi mogul who at one time owned the largest collection of pop art in the world, held a benefit for Women’s Strike for Equality at their house in East Hampton.1 The organizers of the fund-raiser were Betty Friedan, cofounder of NOW, Gloria...
4. Terrorist Acts: The Maladapted Hothead Paisan, a Lesbian Comedy of Terrors
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Jill Johnston’s Lesbian Nation helped spawn many separatist endeavors, from communes to co-ops. Arguably the most enduring and self-sustaining experiment in sex-segregation has been the women’s music scene, which includes a host of entertainers, engineers, producers, labels, and a lively...
5. Unnatural Acts: The Tragic Consequences of Homoliberalism in the Five Lesbian Brothers’ Oedipus at Palm Springs
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One of the fiercest and funniest comedies of terrors, The Secretaries, was penned by the Five Lesbian Brothers, an irreverent troupe of sapphic satirists who have made audiences squeal and squirm with polymorphously perverse, politically incorrect, ribald sex comedies since 1989. Delighting spectators...
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Acts of Gaiety attests to the salubrious social and political transformations that have taken place over the past five decades and to ever-expanding definitions of what it means to be a sexual subject. This progress, and the progressive visibility of LGBT life, reflects the incredible successes of queer...
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Page Count: 256
Illustrations: 11 B&W Illustrations
Publication Year: 2012
Series Title: Triangulations: Lesbian/Gay/Queer Theate