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By David Savran

In enticing, available prose, major theater critic and cultural commentator David Savran explores the intersections among artwork and tradition, providing shrewdpermanent, compelling interpretations of the commercial and social contexts of theatrical texts and practices. Acknowledging theater's marginal prestige in U.S. tradition, A Queer kind of Materialism takes on "the trouble-makers--the ghost, closeted gay, masochist, drag king, 3rd international laborer, even the white male as victim"--who determine extra prominently in theater than in different cultural varieties. In impeccably researched and argued essays that variety in subject material from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Paula Vogel, from without notice final summer time to Iron John, Savran uncovers the ways in which such troublemakers either problem and make stronger orthodox social practices.
The decisions awarded listed below are by means of turns unique, informative, refined, and polemical, reflecting the author's twin citizenship as rigorous student and fascinating theater critic. This e-book additionally presents a version for a type of queer historic materialism that would turn out beneficial to quite a lot of disciplines, together with theater and function, gender and sexuality, queer/gay/lesbian/transgender experiences, American experiences, and well known culture.
David Savran is Professor of Theater, the Graduate heart, town college of recent York, and writer of Cowboys, Communists, and Queers and Taking It Like a Man.

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Extra info for A queer sort of materialism : recontextualizing American theater

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The major stu­ dios, meanwhile, discovered the commercial potential of women coded as lesbian or bisexual in lurid melodramas like Basic Instinct and Singl e White Female. Hollywood's fascination with lesbians (especially if they happen to be psychopaths) was paralleled by a flirtation with gay men and/or male homoeroticism in a number of high-profile, critically well­ received films-from Philadelphia to The Talented Mr. Ripley, from As Good as It Gets to American Beauty-that aspire to the category of art.

In what remains of elite culture, books by lesbian and gay writers, in­ cluding Dorothy Allison, Michael Cunningham, Gore V idal, Jeanette Winterson, and Edmund White, garnered glowing reviews in the main­ stream press. And in the theater, which occupies a somewhat less ele56 57 vated position in the cultural hierarchy, gay men and lesbians were productive, visible, and honored as never before. Angels in America, ha�­ ing amassed the Pulitzer Prize, two best-play Tonys, and other p�est1gious awards, chalked up a groundbreaking Broadway run, a national tour, and countless productions in regional theaters.

Re and A. M. S. political culture has veered sharply to the right, and the Times has consistently underreported that shift as well as the massive upward redistribution of wealth it has facilitated. During this period its arts policy (despite the considerable differences among its critics) could be categorized as being consistent with the paper's vision of a liberal, pluralistic, capitalist state, and it has sometimes given ap- Middlebrow Anxiety 49 preciative reviews to art whose politics its editorial writers would find distasteful.

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