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Author's Forum Presents: Deviations: A Gayle Rubin Reader: A Conversation with Gayle Rubin and Valerie Traub
Deviations is the definitive collection of writing by Gayle S. Rubin, a pioneering theorist and activist in feminist, lesbian and gay, queer, and sexuality studies since the 1970s. Rubin first rose to prominence in 1975 with the publication of “The Traffic in Women,” an essay that had a galvanizing effect on feminist thinking and theory. In another landmark piece, “Thinking Sex,” she examined how certain sexual behaviors are constructed as moral or natural, and others as unnatural. That essay became one of queer theory’s foundational texts. Along with such canonical work, Deviations features less well-known but equally insightful writing on subjects such as lesbian history, the feminist sex wars, the politics of sadomasochism, crusades against prostitution and pornography, and the historical development of sexual knowledge. In the introduction, Rubin traces her intellectual trajectory and discusses the development and reception of some of her most influential essays. Like the book it opens, the introduction highlights the major lines of inquiry pursued for nearly forty years by a singularly important theorist of sex, gender, and culture.
Gayle Rubin is associate professor of anthropology and women's studies at the University of Michigan. She is a cultural anthropologist best known as an activist and theorist of sex and gender politics. She has written on a range of subjects including feminism, sadomasochism, prostitution, pedophilia, pornography and lesbian literature, as well as anthropological studies and histories of sexual subcultures, especially focused in urban contexts.
Valerie Traub is Frederick G. L. Huetwell Professor of English and Women's Studies at the University of Michigan. Her research concerns gender and sexuality in early modern England. She is the author of The Renaissance of Lesbianism in Early Modern England, which won the best book of 2002 award from the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women. Other books include Desire & Anxiety: Circulations of Sexuality in Shakespearean Drama (1992) and two co-edited collections: Feminist Readings of Early Modern Culture: Emerging Subjects (1996) and Gay Shame (2009).