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Publications

Books (Published, Forthcoming, In Progress):

Book Cover: The Gendering of Men, 1600-1750. Volume One: The English PhallusThe Gendering of Men, 1600-1750. Volume One: The English Phallus (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2004).

Abstract of The Gendering of Men, 1600-1750

Review by Michael McKeon, "Recent Studies in the Restoration and Eighteenth Century," SEL: Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, Restoration and Eighteenth Century 45, no. 3 (Summer 2005): 707-71. Available to Brandeis users through Project Muse Standard Collection.

Additional description and reviews available at Amazon.com.

Book Cover: The Gendering of Men, 1600-1750. Volume Two: Queer ArticulationsThe Gendering of Men, 1600-1750. Volume Two: Queer Articulations (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2008).

The queer man's mode of embodiment--his gestural and vocal style, his posture and gait, his occupation of space--remembers a political history. To gesture with the elbow held close to the body, to affect a courtly lisp, or to set an arm akimbo with the hand turned back on the hip is to cite a history in which the sovereign body became the effeminate and sodomitical and, finally, the homosexual body. In Queer Articulations, Thomas A. King argues that the Anglo-American queer body publicizes a history of resistance to the gendered terms whereby liberal subjectivities were secured in early modern England.

In The English Phallus, the first volume of The Gendering of Men, King traced the emergence of gendered privacy, articulated in opposition to an earlier structure of super- and subordination that he called "residual pederasty." Arguing that queer agency preceded and enabled the formulation of queer subjectivities, Queer Articulations investigates theatricality and sodomy as performance practices foreclosed in the formation of gendered privacy and consequently available for resistant uses by male-bodied persons who have been positioned, or who have located themselves, outside the universalized public sphere of citizen-subjects. Represented as a failure of privacy, and not at first reducible to homosexuality, queerness indicated the return of earlier, courtly codes of male embodiment that had required men's display of subjection. Queerness implied residual publicness, while sodomy registered a man's abnegation of privacy, his desire for subjection rather than political and personal autonomy. By defining queerness as the lack or failure of private pleasures, rather than an alternative pleasure or substance in its own right, eighteenth-century discourses reconfigured publicness as the mark of difference from the naturalized, private bodies of liberal subjects.

In King's study, "queer" names not an essence but a historically enabled subject position restored or revised in everyday practices. Inviting a performance-centered, interdisciplinary approach to queer/male identities, King develops a model of queerness as processual activity, situated in time and place but irreducible to the individual subject's identifications, desires, and motivations.

Current Research

The Subject at the End of the Voice

Barry's Ear

I am currently pursuing several studies relating the emergence of modern sexual subjectivities to the cultural and literary effect designated as "voice," which was both interiorized following increasing skepticism of rhetoric and rhetorical training on stage and in everyday life and made newly conscious of its unpredictable and even unintended performative effects on others. Studies in progress include Barry's Ear (an exploration of the materialist erotics of the libertine writers Aphra Behn and John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester; their patronage of actor Elizabeth Barry, noted for modernizing stage elocution; and the disavowal of theatricality, the voice, and the actress in Richardson’s rewriting of Rochester’s, his wife Elizabeth Malet’s, and Barry’s histories in his novel Clarissa) and The Subject at the End of the Voice, which takes Shakespeare (Titus Andronicus, Hamlet, The Tempest) as a starting point for renunciations of rhetoric and the emergence of the voice in early modern and eighteenth-century England.

 

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Articles (Published and Forthcoming):

Forthcoming. “Masculinity.” The Encyclopedia of British Literature 1660-1789. Wiley-Blackwell, 2015.

“The Sound of Men in Love.” In Developments in the Histories of Sexualities: In Search of the Normal, 1600-1800. Ed. Chris Mounsey. Transits: Literature, Thought & Culture 1650-1850. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press - Rowman & Littlefield, 2013.

“In Defense of Gay/Performance.” With Moe Meyer. In Moe Meyer, An Archaeology of Posing: Essays on Camp, Drag, and Sexuality. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press-Macater Press, 2010. 151-81.

“The Subject at the End of the Voice.” In Considering Calamity: Methods for Performance Research. Ed. Linda Ben-Zvi and Tracy C. Davis. Israel: Assaph Books, 2007. 55-95.

“The Subject at the End of the Voice.” Assaph: Studies in the Theatre, no. 21: Special Issue: Considering Calamity: Methods for Performance Research, ed. Tracy C. Davis and Linda Ben-Zvi (2007): 55-95.

"How (Not) to Queer Boswell," in Queer People: Negotiations and Expressions of Homosexuality, 1700-1800, ed. Chris Mounsey and Caroline Gonda (Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 2007).

"The Castrato's Castration," SEL: Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, Restoration and Eighteenth Century 46, no. 3 (Summer 2006): 563-84. Available to Brandeis users through Project Muse Standard Collection.

"Gender and Modernity: Male Looks and the Performance of Public Pleasures," in Monstrous Dreams of Reason: Writing the Body, Self, and Other in the Enlightenment, ed. Mita Choudhury and Laura J. Rosenthal (Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 2002), 25-44

"The Fop, The Canting Queen, and the Deferral of Gender," in Presenting Gender: Changing Sex in Early Modern Culture, ed. Chris Mounsey (Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 2001), 94-135.

"M/S, or Making the Scene: An Erotics of Space," Queen: A Journal of Rhetoric of Power, Special Issue: Sex and Power: Subjection and Subjugation 1, no. 1 (2000).

"Scenes From a Culture of Masochism," in Strategic Sex, ed. D. Travers Scott (New York: Harrington Park-Haworth, 1999), 63-73.

"Displacing Masculinity: Edward Kynaston and the Politics of Effeminacy," in The Image of Manhood in Early Modern Literature: Viewing the Male, ed. Andrew P. Williams, Contributions to the Study of World Literature, No. 95 (Westport, Conn. and London: Greenwood, 1999), 119-40.

"Performing 'Akimbo': Queer Pride and Epistemological Prejudice," in The Politics and Poetics of Camp, ed. Morris Meyer (London: Routledge, 1994), 23-50. Also available through Amazon.com.

"'As if (she) were made on purpose to put the whole world into good Humour': Reconstructing the First English Actresses," TDR (The Drama Review) 36, no. 3 (Fall 1992): 78-102. Available to Brandeis users through JSTOR Complete.

"Camp as the Dramaturgy of Alterity," Theatre Insight: A Journal of Contemporary Performance Thought 1, no. 1 (Spring 1991): 16-20.

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Reviews:

“Patricia Simons: The Sex of Men in Premodern Europe: A Cultural History (Review).” Renaissance Quarterly 65, no. 4 (Winter 2012): 1277-79.

"Laurence Senelick, Lovesick: Modernist Plays of Same-Sex Love, 1894-1925 (Review)," Modern Drama 43, no. 4 (Winter 2000): 633-36. Available to Brandeis users through Expanded Academic ASAP.

"The Temperature of Eighteenth-Century Studies (Review of The Female Thermometer: Eighteenth-Century Culture and the Invention of the Uncanny, by Terry Castle)," LGSN (Lesbian and Gay Studies Newsletter) 23, no. 1 (Spring 1996): 41-42.

"Nostalgia for Sodom (Review of The Book of Sodom, by Paul Hallam)," LGSN (Lesbian and Gay Studies Newsletter) 21, no. 2 (July 1994): 26-28.

"Recent Events: Response to Frinde Maher, 'Gender and Other Distinctions in the Classroom'," Women's Studies Program Newsletter, Brandeis University 2, no. 5 (April 1994): 3-4.

"Review: Performance as Political Act: The Embodied Self, by Randy Martin," Theatre Studies 39 (1994): 71-73.

"Review: The Gradual Making of the Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas," Theatre Journal 43, no. 3 (October 1991): 391-92. Available to Brandeis users through JSTOR Complete.