Hetero: Queering Representations of Straightness

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Sean Griffin
SUNY Press - Performing Arts - 278 pages
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Just as feminist scholars have turned to considerations of masculinity and scholars of race have begun to consider whiteness as a category, this collection brings the insights of queer theory to bear on cinematic representations of straightness. Spanning decades and cultures, from silent Hollywood films to modern Mumbai cinema, the essays in Hetero uncover multiple forms of heterosexual desire and demonstrate that heterosexuality is in fact a heavily contested terrain. Movies often become a place where one specific “heteronormative” ideal is upheld as proper, while other types of heterosexuality are denied or pathologized. By investigating how heterosexuality functions as a social construct, these essays deconstruct normative heterosexuality’s simultaneous omnipresence and invisibility, effectively breaking down the barriers of sexual identity. Hetero offers a collective call to expand the ways in which queer theory is applied and put into practical use, and exposes the queer nature of the love that does dare speak its name.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
1 Stop the Wedding William Haines and the Comedy of the Closet
19
Film Promotion of A Free Soul
37
The Performance of Jewish MaleHeterosexuality in Yiddish American Cinema of the Great Depression
53
Male Film Stars in the Swedish 1930s
71
Eleanor Powell and the Spectacle of Competence
89
Violent Inversions of Heterosexuality in Vincente Minnellis Home from the Hill
111
The Fate of Marriage in Hollywoods Sexual Revolution
129
9 Time Crisis and the New Postfeminist Heterosexual Economy
173
10 Are You Saying My SonIs a Bitch Boy? The Perilously Achieved Hegemonic Masculinity of Ben Stiller
191
Heterosexual Aspirations and Masculine Interests in the World of Quentin Tarantino
209
Heterosexuality According to Brokeback Mountain
227
Works Cited
243
Contributors
257
Index
261
Copyright

Toward a New and ImprovedGlobal Public Image
153

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About the author

Sean Griffin is Associate Professor in the Division of Cinema-Television at Southern Methodist University. His previous books include Queer Images: A History of Gay and Lesbian Film in America and America on Film: Representing Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality at the Movies.

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