Critical Bottoming: Repositioning Male Effeminacy and its Racialization

By John Paul Stadler

Nguyen Tan Hoang. A View from the Bottom: Asian American Masculinity and Sexual Representation. Duke University Press, 2014. 287 pp.

The figure of the gay, Asian bottom is often misunderstood. His racial, gender, and sexual identities are typically conflated and maligned for being too submissive and effeminate. This, at least, is the opening contention of Nguyen Tan Hoang’s A View from the Bottom: Asian American Masculinity and Sexual Representation.
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Doktorvater

By Gerry Canavan

Robert T. Tally, Jr. Fredric Jameson: The Project of Dialectical Criticism. Pluto Press, 2014. 208 pp.

Phillip E. Wegner. Periodizing Jameson: Dialectics, the University, and the Desire for Narrative. Northwestern University Press, 2014. 328 pp.

When Fredric Jameson was selected as the winner of the Modern Language Association’s sixth Award for Lifetime Scholarly Achievement in 2011, his reply was (of course) dialectical; he told an interviewer that winning a lifetime achievement award was “a little alarming” while at the same time it was “very nice to have the recognition.” (This kind of double-edged honour was perhaps becoming a bit of a pattern for Jameson; he’d just won the prestigious Holberg International Memorial Prize in 2008.) One wonders then how Jameson might feel about the recent publication of two monograph-length retrospectives on his career, both written by former students: Wegner is a former graduate student of Jameson’s at the Program in Literature, while Tally took his classes as an undergraduate at Duke.
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Queering Animal Acts

By Miranda Niittynen

Una Chaudhuri and Holly Hughes, eds. Animal Acts: Performing Species Today. University of Michigan Press, 2014. 246 pp.

“Animal Acts” writes Una Chaudhuri, “are a powerful way to change the world” (1). Performance arts, in particular, create room for political discussion, as well as forging alternative spaces, places, time, and creatures.
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Quotation as Critical Practice

By Adam Barbu

Patrick Greaney. Quotational Practices: Repeating the Future in Contemporary Art. University of Minnesota Press, 2014. 224 pp.

What does it mean to return to the question of authorship in a seemingly “post-everything” theoretical context? Patrick Greaney’s recent book Quotational Practices: Repeating the Future in Contemporary Art (2014) responds to this question by analyzing the historical and critical function of quotation in modern and contemporary art.
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