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Summer Reading 2021: Queer: A Graphic History

Why Ricco and Lindsey picked Queer: A Graphic History

Queer joy! Graphic novels! LGBGTQ+ intellectualism and activism! 

How do Foucault, James Bond, and even the Wizard of Oz challenge heteronormativity? Wondering about all these big words and big concepts? Want an introduction? Or ready to dive in to these scholarly and intellectual approaches to identity? 

Often in our conversations inside and outside of Urban, we find that queer narratives are limited to coming out stories. While these are definitely important and a part of our life experiences, we also want to discuss where these experiences emerge from. Why and how do we think about these social constructs in 2021 like we do? How might a better understanding of the history and theories of gender, sexuality, and identity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning folks deepen our life experiences? 

This book club is welcome to ALL students and faculty, whether you self-identify as queer, straight, cisgender, or outside the gender binary. How do we challenge what society and peers think about what's "normal"? 

About Queer: A Graphic History

Queer: A Graphic History
by Meg-John Barker


Activist-academic Meg-John Barker and cartoonist Julia Scheele illuminate the histories of queer thought and LGBTQ+ action in this groundbreaking non-fiction graphic novel. From identity politics and gender roles to privilege and exclusion, Queer explores how we came to view sex, gender and sexuality in the ways that we do; how these ideas get tangled up with our culture and our understanding of biology, psychology and sexology; and how these views have been disputed and challenged. Along the way we look at key landmarks which shift our perspective of what’s ‘normal’ – Alfred Kinsey’s view of sexuality as a spectrum, Judith Butler’s view of gendered behaviour as a performance, the play Wicked, or moments in Casino Royale when we’re invited to view James Bond with the kind of desiring gaze usually directed at female bodies in mainstream media.
Presented in a brilliantly engaging and witty style, this is a unique portrait of the universe of queer thinking. - Goodreads

[Check out an interview with the author below!]

A discussion about the word "Queer"

About the reader

  Lindsey Collins, English

Past picks by Lindsey:

  • A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf

  Ricco Siasoco, 9th Grade Dean, English

This is Ricco's first summer read selection!