Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Pride 2017: a reading list

Happy Pride Month from the OUP Philosophy team! To celebrate the LGBT Pride 2017 happening in cities across the world, including the New York City and London Prides this summer, OUP Philosophy is shining a spotlight on books that explore issues in LGBTQ rights and culture. Our selection is diverse and multidisciplinary, covering philosophy, politics, history, biography, linguistics, and cultural studies as it is important to highlight different titles to all audiences.

Philosophy, Politics and History

Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination
John Corvino, Ryan T. Anderson, and Sheriff Girgis

Can religious liberty justify the right to discriminate against others? How can society strike a balance between achieving a positive and fair society while respecting conscience and beliefs? The point-counterpoint book brings together the leading voices of John Corvino, a longtime LGBT-rights advocate, opposite Ryan T. Anderson and Sherif Girgis, prominent young defenders of the traditional view of marriage. It provides thus an overview of the main issues in cases concerning religious liberty, for example, many of the debate concerns the question of same sex marriage: a county clerk who refuses to authorise same-sex marriage, or bakers, photographers, printers who refuse to provide same sex wedding services? Moving beyond the LGBT rights debate, it also addresses the wider questions over religious beliefs such as the value of religion, the role of government and the challenges of living in a diverse and free society. Should these people be exempted from discrimination? To what extent can religious liberty be unlawful?

Debating Same-Sex Marriage
John Corvino and Maggie Gallagher

The book is concerned with the ever important and contentious issue of same sex marriage and takes a form of debate between John Corvino and Maggie Gallagher; John Corvino, a philosopher and a writer well-known for his writing on LGBT equality sets forth his arguments eloquently and persuasively that allowing same sex marriage is good for both the couples and as a society at large because we have an interest in supporting a loving and committed relationship marriage equality for all its citizens. Marriage needs not to be exclusively between man and woman. Maggie Gallagher, on the other hand, takes the traditional view that marriage is the union between a husband and wife, ensuring that natural link between father-mother and children.

Listen, We Need To Talk: How to Change Attitudes about LGBT Rights?
Brian F. Harrison and Melissa R. Michelson

This book explains how support for same sex marriage has grown sharply from 11% to 60% majority of American population from 1988 and 2016. The authors show that by priming common social identities or focussing on similarities of interests, opponents who hold strong views against contentious issue such as same sex marriage can be more receptive to listen and change their attitude.

Bodies of Evidence: The Practice of Queer Oral History
Nan Alamilla Boyd, Horacio N. Roque Ramlrez

This book provides an insight into the methodological practices of queer oral historians and examines themes such as desire, sexuality and gender, sexual self-disclosure and voyeurism in documenting LGBTQ lives and experience. It gives raw transcribed interviews followed by commentaries and analysis. It also takes a look at the historiography 1950s and ’60s lesbian bar culture; social life after the Cuban revolution; the organization of transvestite social clubs in the US midwest in the 1960s; Australian gay liberation activism in the 1970s; San Francisco electoral politics and the career of Harvey Milk; Asian American community organizing in pre-AIDS Los Angeles; lesbian feminist “sex war ” cultural politics; 1980s and ’90s Latina/o transgender community memory and activism in San Francisco; and the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

You’ve Changed: Sex Reassignment and Personal Identity
Edited by Laurie J. Shrage

This is part of the OUP Studies in Feminist Philosophy. It looks at the transgender experience from philosophical and conceptual perspectives and asks questions such as whether we do have a true sex and whether sex and gender is an alterable characteristic? Does the old self disappears when a person’s sex assignment changes? A rich and thoughtful collection of essays exploring the issue of personal identity from various standpoints: queer theory, gender and sexuality, feminism, disability and science studies


Jane Crow
Rosalind Rosenberg

Rosalind Rosenberg does justice to the key figure in the civil rights and women’s movements in this sensitive and thoughtful biography. She was a remarkable woman who overcame various obstacles and fought valiantly against prejudices throughout her life; coming from an unhappy family, Murray earned a college degree in New York city and was rejected for graduate studies at the University of North Carolina because of her mixed –race heritage. After graduating with a first class degree from Howard Law school, she was rejected by Harvard University on account of her sex. Undaunted, she went on, however, to carve out a successful career in law, in particular her work on anti-discrimination which abolished the segregation of schools and other landmark cases influencing government to provide the constitutional rights for women and other minority groups from discrimination. Murray often considered herself as queer in terms of sexuality and believed that she was a male by birth. In today term she would be identified as transgender .

Turing: Pioneer of the Information Age
Jack Copeland

A fascinating biography of a mathematician genius and WWII codebreaker, Alan Turing was prosecuted for being gay and chemically castrated. A must read for anyone interested in life of one of the most accomplished scientist of the twentieth century.

Charity and Sylvia: A Same Sex Marriage in Early America
Rachel Hope Cleves

Through primary sources such as diaries, letters and poetry, Rachel Hope Cleves told a compelling and extraordinary history of two women who were in love with each other and took the role of husband and wife in 19th century Vermont during the civil war, overturning society conventions. They were also philanthropists and revered by their local community. As the book reveals, same sex marriage was not a 21st century innovation and originate in America much earlier than we imagine.

Cultural Studies:

From Drag Queens to Leathermen: Language, Gender, and Gay Male Subcultures
Rusty Barrett

For anyone interested in linguistic and cultural studies, this very insightful title examines the use of language in various gay male subcultures: drag queens, radical faeries, bears, circuit boys, barebackers, and leathermen as a way to construct gay male sexual identities and desires, for example, the word ‘bear’ in the gay culture in the late 1980s to classify certain types of gay men (heavyset and hairy men) is an appropriation of linguistic stereotypes of Southern masculinity, or the term ‘leathermen’ signifies militaristic masculinity, patriotism and BDSM sexual practice.

Gender and Rock
Mary Celeste Kearney

How does rock culture with its music, performance, fashion and imagery provide the platforms for artists and consumers to experiment with gender and alternative identities? This brings together different perspectives from queer and feminist studies, performance studies, and cultural studies to linguistics.

Queer Dance
Clare Croft

The author asks important questions how queer dance shifts choreographic practice, challenges gender binaries and normative conventions as well as exploring how it relates to gender, identity, the body, the realm of affect and touch.

Featured image credit: Gay Pride by naeimasgary. CC0 via Pixabay.

Recent Comments

There are currently no comments.