Sex, Language, and Affect in Shakespeare's TimeUniversity of Pennsylvania Press Material Texts
For Jeffrey Masten, the history of sexuality and the history of language are intimately related. In Queer Philologies, he studies particular terms that illuminate the history of sexuality in Shakespeare's time and analyzes the methods we have used to study sex and gender in literary and cultural history. Building on the work of theorists and historians who have, following Foucault, investigated the importance of words like "homosexual," "sodomy," and "tribade" in a variety of cultures and historical periods, Masten argues that just as the history of sexuality requires the history of language, so too does philology, "the love of the word," require the analytical lens provided by the study of sexuality.
Masten unpacks the etymology, circulation, transformation, and constitutive power of key words within the early modern discourse of sex and gender—terms such as "conversation" and "intercourse," "fundament" and "foundation," "friend" and "boy"—that described bodies, pleasures, emotions, sexual acts, even (to the extent possible in this period) sexual identities. Analyzing the continuities as well as differences between Shakespeare's language and our own, he offers up a queer lexicon in which the letter "Q" is perhaps the queerest character of all.
Note on Citations and Quotations
Introduction. On Q: An Introduction to Queer Philology
Chapter 1. Spelling Shakespeare: Early Modern "Orthography" and the Secret Lives of Shakespeare's Compositors
LEXICON 1. FRIENDSHIP
Chapter 2. "Sweet Persuasion," the Taste of Letters, and Male Friendship
Chapter 3. Extended "Conversation": Living with Christopher Marlowe; a Brief History of "Intercourse"
LEXICON 2. BOY-DESIRE
Chapter 4. Reading "Boys": Performance and Print
Chapter 5. "Amorous Leander," Boy-desire, Gay Shame; Or, Straightening Out Christopher Marlowe
LEXICON 3. SODOMY
Chapter 6. Is the "Fundament" a Grave? Translating the Early Modern Body
Chapter 7. When Genres Breed: "Mongrell Tragicomedie" and Queer Kinship Editing Philologies
Chapter 8. All Is Not Glossed: Editing Sex, Race, Gender, and Affect in Shakespeare
Chapter 9. More or Less Queer: Female "Bumbast" in Sir Thomas More
- Winner of the Studies in English Literature Elizabeth Dietz Memorial Award