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Journal of Lesbian Studies

Caroline Gonda
This article discusses an unpublished book by the popular and prolific novelist Pamela Frankau (1908-67), which was rejected by her publishers in 1946 as "almost too personal for publication," and which for many years was believed lost. The work is addressed to Frankau's dead lover, Marjorie Vernon Whitefoord (1907-44), a fellow officer in the women's Auxiliary Territorial Service, and takes the form of a letter to Vernon. The article examines what Frankau's unpublished narrative of love and loss in wartime reveals about her life and later novels, and its implications for the official record of her life and writing...
March 6, 2018: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Angelique Harris, Jessie Daniels
The rise of the popular Internet has coincided with the increasing acceptance, even assimilation, of lesbians into mainstream society. The visible presence of lesbians in the tech industry and in digitally mediated spaces raises a set of questions about the relationship between queer identities and Internet technologies. This introduction to a special issue of Journal of Lesbian Studies explores some of these questions and provides an overview of the articles that follow.
November 28, 2017: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Andrea P Herrera
This analysis integrates poststructuralist and symbolic interactionist approaches to the self by incorporating the insights of science and technology studies regarding categorization processes. While the advent of the Internet has freed many individuals from geographical constraints on community formation, the architectures of online platforms produce a technological imperative to name aspects of the self with words. Using sexual identity hashtags on Instagram (e.g., #lesbian) thus performs paradoxical functions: the hashtag both enables the construction of a sexual identity within an affirming community and also reinforces the power relations that compel individuals to name and account for their sexual selves...
November 27, 2017: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Faithe Day
Drawing on a legacy of Black television and film production, Black web series remediate earlier media forms in order to usher in a twenty-first-century revival of indie Black cultural production. Specifically, video sharing and social media platforms operate as a sphere in which content creators and users are afforded unique opportunities to engage with video content and each other on a variety of levels. Focusing on the YouTube media sphere, one can also observe the myriad ways in which the performance of race, gender, and sexuality influences the types of discourse that circulate within these sites...
November 27, 2017: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Matthew H Rafalow, Jessica M Kizer
Recent work shows that race is a critical factor in shaping sexual identities, partner preference, and family formation, suggesting there may be racial differences in whether lesbians already have children at the time that they look for companions. In this study, we draw on a sample of 1,923 lesbians on to quantitatively test whether there are racial differences in dating preferences for women with children, underscoring implications for family inequality through racial differences in who has children when looking for a partner...
November 22, 2017: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Kishonna L Gray
As gaming culture continues to marginalize women and people of color, other gamers are also highlighting the inequalities they face within digital gaming communities. While heterosexism and homophobia are commonplace within gaming culture, little is known about the actual experiences of "gaymers" and even less about "gaymers" of color. As such, this article seeks to explore lesbians of color and their experiences "gayming" out and online. Exploring identity development, community building, and connectivity via social networking, the women within this study articulate what it means to be lesbian online and how this impacts their physical and digital experiences...
November 22, 2017: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Dane R Whicker, Ed de St Aubin, Kim Skerven
Among lesbians, faith-based beliefs and behaviors may be associated with negative psychological health due to the interplay between religious and sexual identities. The present study examined health outcomes, faith-based beliefs (views of God as loving and controlling), faith-based behaviors (personal spiritual practices, religious activities), and internalized homonegativity in a sample of 225 self-identified lesbians. We hypothesized that internalized homonegativity would moderate the relationship between health outcomes and faith-based beliefs and behaviors among lesbians...
October 2, 2017: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Bettina L Love
To date, there is a noticeable lack of studies that focus exclusively on the pedagogical practices, teaching experiences, identity, and gender performances of Black and Brown lesbian educators (BBLE). This special issue of the Journal of Lesbian Studies aims to make the hyperinvisibility of BBLE visible and proposes to fill this scholarly gap by exploring this topic from a variety of cultural and disciplinary perspectives.
October 2, 2017: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Ashley N Woodson
In this article, I discuss the possibilities and implications of centering Black lesbian identities and relationships in history teacher education through a case study with one straight Black woman preservice history teacher named Danitra. Danitra's understanding and navigation of historical research on Black lesbians are discussed in relation to core themes of lesbian historiography and emancipatory historiography. Though the literature on this group is limited, I argue that critical considerations of Black lesbians' interests and experiences help educators to conceive of and teach about history, citizenship, justice, and sexuality in more liberatory ways...
October 2, 2017: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Jillian Carter Ford
I conducted semi-structured interviews with eight self-identified Black lesbian classroom teachers. Seven participants taught in three districts in the same large metropolitan area in the U.S. Southeast; one participant taught in a smaller city in a bordering state. In response to the vague prompt to describe the intersections between their sexuality and their schooling experiences as a teacher, every participant spoke explicitly about her unwillingness to lie about her sexuality if asked. In this article, I argue that honesty is a critical component of Black women's experiences, the necessity of which can be tied to womanism...
October 2, 2017: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Dominique C Hill
What are the hesitations, dangers, and potentialities to inviting students to peruse my body? What possibilities arise from centering and leading with the body in the teaching/learning process? What risks and possibilities does this enactment pose to a Black lesbian educator? This auto/ethnography journeys through and reflects upon my experience enacting what I have coined "embodied vulnerability" as a pedagogical practice. Within this essay, I explore the interrelationship of race, gender, and embodiment (or, the performance of self)...
October 2, 2017: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Kaila Adia Story
Although a Black femme identity has been defined and embodied by many as an identity with Black feminist roots and revolutionary potentials, Black femmes are still rendered hypervisible and invisible through racist and heteronormative politics. Similarly, embodying a Black femme identity as a professor in academia often engenders these same pretenses of hypervisibility and invisibility. This essay explores what this existential conundrum has been for me as both a Black femme and professor of Black queer and feminist studies, while illuminating the mix of forces within academia that have attempted to stifle my chosen sexual identity and gendered performance...
October 2, 2017: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Alexis Pauline Gumbs
In 1974, warrior poet mother Audre Lorde published the poem "Blackstudies," a freeform dream villanelle about her complicated experience as a Black lesbian feminist English professor at the City University of New York during the dynamic period when students rose up in protest. The university granted open admissions, and cultural nationalists who taught at City University worked to create a Black Studies program. In the poem, she describes her vantage point at this particular historical and pedagogical moment from the seventeenth floor within a dreamscape where she navigates the stereotypes, silences, and urgencies that shaped her experience as an educator...
October 2, 2017: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Bettina L Love
Through narrative inquiry, utilizing in-depth interviews and field observations, the goal of this research is to begin a dialogue within the field of education and mentoring scholarship that expands the mentoring of Black males beyond traditional norms of sex and gender identities/performances to reimagine the ways in which Black female masculinity can be a site of mentoring for Black and Brown boys.
October 2, 2017: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Mel Michelle Lewis
This article examines gender expression as central to the pedagogical projects of Black lesbian feminist pedagogues teaching interdisciplinary material related to race, gender, and sexuality. Participants discuss the ways in which their own masculinity, femme identity, and gendered performances influence instructive practices in the classroom and collegiality on campus. Being a "genuine article" of intersectionality theory plays a role in creative applications of the body as text and the institutional impediments to education as the practice of freedom for pedagogues whose marginalized gender, racial, sexual, and political identities closely align with their subject matter and influence campus roles and relationships...
October 2, 2017: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Shereen Inayatulla
Autoethnographic self-reflection is a strategy for teachers to examine their pedagogies and academic workspaces at large. In the process of moving from teaching composition at an institution in the Midwest to one in Southeast Queens, this author describes significant shifts in how she perceived herself as a Brown queer pedagogue. In order to analyze these shifts in ways that advance her pedagogical praxis, the author evaluates the research tools available to her and offers a hybrid method for reflection, which she calls "vulnerable automythnography...
October 2, 2017: Journal of Lesbian Studies
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No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 2, 2017: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Angela Willey
Following Lynne Huffer's work on queer feminism, this abridged essay centers the figure of the lesbian in order to develop a dyke ethics that engenders nuanced thinking about both monogamy and embodiment. The essay reads Alison Bechdel's comic strip, Dykes to Watch Out For, to elaborate a "dyke ethics of anti-monogamy." Grounded in notions of friendship, community, and social justice, this ethics decenters the sexual dyad in a way that polyamory does not. It also insists upon a theoretical and ethical disposition of respect for the simultaneously political and embodied nature of desire...
August 25, 2017: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Sonny Nordmarken, Samuel Ace
In this piece, we combine autoethnographic and poetic methods/genres to examine intimate and social experiences we have had as two transmasculine queers with complex sexual and gender histories in an intergenerational relationship. If queerness/transness is a "species," our title, playing on Darwin, promises an answer to oft-asked problematic questions of queer/trans origins. Refusing to address this question, we instead turn Darwin on himself and examine intimate moments in our lives to show how we have experienced the constant formation and personal evolution of desire and identity...
August 17, 2017: Journal of Lesbian Studies
Jennifer Terry, Angela Willey
The sexological roots of "lesbian" and the "queer" turn from biologized categories of sexual difference pose an exciting set of questions and tensions for thinking about queer feminism and biological meanings. This issue seeks to open space to explore how we might reconcile assumptions about "female same-sex sexuality" that often accompany "lesbian" with queer and trans-feminist treatments of science, embodiment, and desiring, while at the same time insisting on the importance of an undertheorized dyke legacy for thinking the at-once material and political nature of sexuality...
August 10, 2017: Journal of Lesbian Studies
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