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Essays Lesbian

Outwrite: Lesbianism and Popular Culture

Outwrite: Lesbianism and Popular CultureGabriele GriffinPluto Press1993

Outwrite is the first collection of its kind to focus on representations of lesbianism in popular culture. In doing so, it registers the extraordinary diversity of lesbian cultural production in the course of this century.

Abandoning the cultural high ground, the eight essays in this volume provide an invigorating introduction to the complex relationship between lesbians as producers, consumers and subjects of popular culture – of music, Hollywood movies, popular romance, science fiction and the good old-fashioned crime novel.

Commeting on texts such as Audre Lorde’s Zami, Rita Mae Brown’s Rubyfruit Jungle and Radclyffe Hall’s Well of Loneliness, the various contributors consider the popularity and development of ‘coming out’ stories and the richness of lesbian personal narratives. They examine the extent to which popular genres have been appropriated and even subverted by lesbian writers – and readers. They debate the encoding of lesbian sexual desire on screen, and ask questions about the specificity of lesbian cinema. Above all, they celebrate the varieties of lesbian popular culture in a way that adds fresh new dimensions to the study of the mass media and culture in the twentieth century.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: ‘Doing it’: Representations of Lesbian Sex / Jenny Kitzinger, Celia Kitzinger
Chapter 2: Mid Twentieth Century Lesbian Romance: Reception and Redress Carol / Ann Uszkurat
Chapter 3: History with a Difference: Telling Lesbian Herstories / Gabriele Griffin
Chapter 4: Lesbian BiblioMythography / Nicki Hastie
Chapter 5: The Lesbian Thriller: Crimes, Clues and Contradictions / Paulina Palmer
Chapter 6: The Worlds of Lesbian/Feminist Science Fiction / Sonya Andermahr
Chapter 7: Lesbian Cinema, Women’s Cinema / Penny Florence
Chapter 8: Lesbians and Popular Music: Does It Matter Who Is Singing? / Barbara Bradby