Historiographical Essay

Beyond Sexual Politics and Sexual Communities: Unlikely Spaces for Queer Identity in the Postwar United States

Abstract

This article evaluates the recent works of historians Lauren Jae Gutterman and David K. Johnson. The article summarizes the arguments of the two works, evaluates their historiographical significance, and suggests their possible impact on future scholarship. Diverging from most LGBTQ histories of the period, Gutterman and Johnson study the postwar period outside of organizational politics or subcultural communities. The two monographs upend assumptions about the homophile era by emphasizing the construction of queer identities outside of traditional LGBTQ networks. Gutterman's study of lesbian desire within marriage and Johnson's work on physique magazines take a national scope in a field otherwise dominated by local community studies. Most importantly, the scholarship highlights the role of ostensibly heterosexual social institutions in the development of queer identity networks and politics in the postwar U.S.

Keywords

LGBTQ, Queer, Identity, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Postwar

How to Cite

Ferrara, D., (2022) “Beyond Sexual Politics and Sexual Communities: Unlikely Spaces for Queer Identity in the Postwar United States”, Essays in History 55(1), 1-6. doi: https://doi.org/10.25894/eih.112

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Authors

David G. Ferrara (University of Alabama)

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

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