On sexuality and power / Alan Sinfield.

by Sinfield, AlanLooking glass.

Series: Between men--between women: Publisher: New York : Columbia University Press, [2004]Description: viii, 218 pages ; 24 cm.ISBN: 0231134088; 0231134096.Subject(s): Gays in literatureLooking glass | Homosexuality and literatureLooking glass | Male homosexuality -- Psychological aspects | Power (Social sciences)Looking glass | Sex (Psychology)Looking glassNote: Includes bibliographical references (pages [191]-212) and index.
Item type Home library Collection Class number Status Date due Barcode Item reservations
Long loan Central Saint Martins
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Printed books 306.76 SIN (Browse shelf (Opens below)) Available 22281908
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

It is widely supposed that the most suitable partner will be someone very much like oneself; gay fiction and cinema are often organized around this assumption. Nonetheless, power differentials are remarkably persistent--as well as sexy. What are the personal and political implications of this insight?

Sinfield argues that hierarchies in interpersonal relations are continuous with the main power differentials of our social and political life (gender, class, age, and race); therefore it is not surprising that they govern our psychic lives. Recent writing enables an exploration of their positive potential, especially in fantasy, as well as their danger.

On Sexuality and Power focuses on the writing of the last thirty years, revisiting also Whitman, Wilde, Mann, Forster, and Genet, and reassessing the very idea of a gay canon.

Includes bibliographical references (pages [191]-212) and index.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Taxonomies
  • Fantasy
  • Power
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Class
  • Race

Reviews provided by Syndetics


Readers familiar with Faultlines: Cultural Materialism and the Politics of Dissident Reading (CH, Feb'93, 30-3146), Cultural Politics--Queer Reading (CH, Mar'95, 32-3766), and Out on Stage (CH, Apr'00, 37-4360), all by Sinfield (Univ. of Sussex, UK), will detect in the present book a heightened psychopolitical concern. Sinfield demolishes the notion that the best partner for someone is a person like oneself, recognizing instead an inherent sexiness in difference and stipulating that the role of power in sexual relationships is crucially important. The author explores this theory in terms of fantasy, gender, age, class, and race, devoting one chapter to each of these topics. He also explicates recent gay fiction and works by earlier authors--Whitman, Forster, Wilde, Mann, Spender, Genet--in the light of power differentials reflected in relationships these authors present. Sinfield seeks not to "deduce facts from fiction, but to investigate [in fiction] the kinds of representations that have been circulating." Part of the "Between Men--Between Women" Series, this interdisciplinary book makes a valuable contribution to gay studies. ^BSumming Up: Essential. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers. R. B. Shuman emeritus, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Alan Sinfield teaches in the English Department at Sussex University. He is the author of Out on Stage: Lesbian and Gay Theatre in the Twentieth Century and The Wilde Century: Effeminacy, Oscar Wilde, and the Queer Moment, among other books. He lives in Brighton, UK.