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  • Foreword: The Butch Anthropologist Out in the Field / Judith Halberstam ix

    Foreword: On Being Different: An Appreciation / William L. Leap xix

    Acknowledgments xxiii

    Introduction 1

    Part I: Drag and Camp

    From the Appendix to Mother Camp, Field Methods (1972) 11

    Role Models (1972) 14

    Preface to the Phoenix Edition of Mother Camp (1979) 30

    Theater: Gay Anti-Church—More Notes on Camp (1992/1999) 34

    Dick(less) Tracy and the Homecoming Queen: Lesbian Power and Representation in Gay Male Cherry Grove (1996) 63

    Part II: Lesbian-Feminism

    High School Crack-up (1973) 93

    Marginal Woman/Marginal Academic (1973) 103

    The Personal is Political: Consciousness Raising and Personal Change in the Women's Liberation Movement (Shirley Walton, 1971) 113

    Excerpt from Womanfriends (with Shirley Walton, 1976) 142

    Will the Real Lesbian Community Please Stand Up? (1982/1998) 155

    Part III: Butch

    The Misunderstanding: Toward a More Precise Sexual Vocabulary (with Shirley Walton, 1984) 167

    The Mythic Mannish Lesbian: Radclyffe Hall and the New Woman(1984) 176

    Beyond Freud, Ken, and Barbie (1986) 189

    My Butch Career: A Memoir (1996) 195

    Part IV: Queer Anthropology

    DMS: The Outsider's Insider (1995) 215

    Too Queer for College: Notes on Homophobia (1987) 219

    An Open Letter to "Manda Cesara" (1980) 225

    Of Yams, Grinders, and Gays: The Anthropology of Homosexuality (1988) 229

    Lesbian and Gay Issues in Anthropology: Some Remarks to the Chairs of Anthropology Departments (1993) 238

    My Best Informant’s Dress: The Erotic Equation in Fieldwork (1992) 243

    Notes 259

    Bibliography 293

    Index 311
  • Bill Leap

  • Finalist, 2001 Lambda Literary Award in Lesbian Studies

    Winner, 2001 2000, Ruth Benedict Award (SOLGA)


  • Finalist, 2001 Lambda Literary Award in Lesbian Studies

    Winner, 2001 2000, Ruth Benedict Award (SOLGA)

  • “Esther Newton is, quite simply, a pioneering figure in researching contemporary queer populations, as well as one of the most important voices in post WWII anthropology. We are very fortunate to finally have her essays assembled into an accessible collection. This anthology is an indispensable resource for anyone interested in late twentieth-century anthropology, feminism, gay and lesbian studies, gender and sexuality, and the social science of everyday life.”—Gayle Rubin — N/A

    “Esther Newton’s work . . . has changed anthropology, feminist studies, and queer studies in remarkable ways. . . . Newton’s methodological innovation has less to do with crafting new empirical tools and more to do with a creative and inspired mode of listening and participating in the cultures she studies.”—from the Foreword by Judith Halberstam — N/A

    “I was looking for any way out, some Mad Hatter to lead me down a rabbit hole into a world where I didn't have to carry a clutch purse and want to be dominated by some guy with a crew cut and no neck...So that when I read Coming of Age in Samoa, my senior year in college, I was, to put it mildly, receptive."”—from the Introduction by Esther Newton — N/A

    “This is a wonderful collection. Newton is a powerful intellectual whose reflections on her own work not only illuminate her life but also the relation between the academy and the social movements of the last thirty years.”—Elizabeth L. Kennedy, author of Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold: The History of a Lesbian Community — N/A

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  • Description

    Margaret Mead Made Me Gay is the intellectual autobiography of cultural anthropologist Esther Newton, a pioneer in gay and lesbian studies. Chronicling the development of her ideas from the excitement of early feminism in the 1960s to friendly critiques of queer theory in the 1990s, this collection covers a range of topics such as why we need more precise sexual vocabularies, why there have been fewer women doing drag than men, and how academia can make itself more hospitable to queers. It brings together such classics as “The Mythic Mannish Lesbian” and “Dick(less) Tracy and the Homecoming Queen” with entirely new work such as “Theater: Gay Anti-Church.”
    Newton’s provocative essays detail a queer academic career while offering a behind-the-scenes view of academic homophobia. In four sections that correspond to major periods and interests in her life—”Drag and Camp,” “Lesbian-Feminism,” “Butch,” and “Queer Anthropology”—the volume reflects her successful struggle to create a body of work that uses cultural anthropology to better understand gender oppression, early feminism, theatricality and performance, and the sexual and erotic dimensions of fieldwork. Combining personal, theoretical, and ethnographic perspectives, Margaret Mead Made Me Gay also includes photographs from Newton’s personal and professional life.
    With wise and revealing discussions of the complex relations between experience and philosophy, the personal and the political, and identities and practices, Margaret Mead Made Me Gay is important for anyone interested in the birth and growth of gay and lesbian studies.

    About The Author(s)

    Esther Newton is Professor of Anthropology and Kempner Distinguished Professor at State University of New York at Purchase. She is the author of several books, including Mother Camp, a groundbreaking study of American drag queens, and Cherry Grove, Fire Island: Sixty Years in America’s First Gay and Lesbian Town. Among other distinctions, she was Scholarly Advisor for the documentary film Paris Is Burning, a founding member of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center, and member of the Advisory Group for Stonewall History Project.

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