From Library Journal
Black and queer studies have, for the most part, proceeded separately; here, Somerville (English and women's studies, Purdue Univ.) examines the intersections between these fields. In five essays, she looks at the writings of Jean Toomer and Pauline E. Hopkins, James Weldon Johnson's Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man, the film A Florida Enchantment, and scientific racism. Although limited in scope, her essays do address a number of issues significant in turn of-the-century African American and gay lifeAlike "passing" and self-identificationAand, in doing so, raise interesting questions about the representation of race and sexual identity in U.S. culture. Recommended for all academic sociology and literature collections.AAnthony J. Adam, Prairie View A&M Univ. Lib., TX
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“Queering the Color Line is a groundbreaking study that sets a new agenda for critical investigations of the intersecting histories of race and sexuality in the United States. Siobhan Somerville provides a model of interdisciplinary, politically engaged scholarship that is certain to become required reading in queer studies, race theory, and U.S. history as well as American literature.”—Lisa Duggan, New York University
“By offering a new understanding of the emergence of race and sexuality as collaborative entities, Somerville has made an important contribution to the expanding scholarship in African American studies, American studies, queer theory, and cultural studies.”—Robyn Wiegman, author of American Anatomies: Theorizing Race and Gender
“This book pioneers new strategies for understanding the intersectionality of sexuality and race formation. Equally adept at textual analysis and historical contextualization, Somerville demonstrates how the early sexological division of people into homosexuals and heterosexuals was profoundly shaped by the discourse of scientific racism, and she elaborates her argument through a series of subtle reinterpretations of cinematic and literary texts that illuminate the profound—usually inexplicit—interdependence of racial and sexual discourse. A pathbreaking study.”—George Chauncey, University of Chicago