Monday, December 08, 2008

Journal Review: GLQ: A Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies

GLQ is a quarterly journal published by Duke University Press. Ann Cvetkovich, a professor of English and Women’s Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, and Annamarie Jagose, a professor of English at the University of Auckland (New Zealand), are the current editors. The editorial board includes a wide range of scholars in gay and lesbian/queer studies including Sara Ahmed, Lisa Duggan, David Eng, Rod Ferguson, Judith Halberstam, and José Esteban Muñoz. In addition, there are editors for Book Reviews, currently Noreen Giffney for books in the Humanities and Martin F. Manalansan IV for books in the Social Sciences. There are two “Moving Image” Review editors, currently Alex Juhasz and Ming-Yeun S. Ma. Current issues of the journal contain three to six scholarly articles, a few full-length book or film reviews, and about a dozen brief book reviews.
GLQ was founded in 1993 with Carolyn Dinshaw, Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University, and David M. Halperin, a classicist at the University of Michigan, as the original editors. When the journal was founded it had an explicit mission to advance “queer theory.” The types of scholarly articles featured in the journal are eclectic in their methodology and intention. Articles include theoretical pieces, histories of queer identity, and historiography. Many books, which have become central to queer theory and scholarship, were published as articles in earlier forms in GLQ. The journal came to Duke University Press beginning with volume four in 1998.
In addition to the collection of scholarly articles, GLQ includes “The GLQ Archive” which is “a special section featuring previously unpublished or unavailable primary materials that may serve as sources for future work in lesbian and gay studies.” These materials are often transcripts of conference discussions or original documents and when featured are generally a large portion of the journal.
The journal positions itself as an interdisciplinary journal and authors are from a wide variety of disciplines with an emphasis on disciplines in the humanities particularly history, English, and cultural studies. The journal is consciously international in its approach, and in recent years focusing more on transnational queer scholarship. Although there is more focus on the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, GLQ takes a wide historical perspective. A recent archive entry was a debate about applying the term lesbian to Greek, Roman and Medieval practices from a history conference while another article was a statement from contemporary lesbian activists in Mexico.
There have been a number of special issues of the journal included “The Transgender Issue” edited by Susan Stryker which features early articles from Joanne Meyerowitz’s book How Sex Changed and Judith Halberstam’s Female Masculinity, “Thinking Sexuality Transnationally” in 1999, “Men and Lesbianism” in 2001, “Queer Tourism: Geographies of Globalization” edited by Jasbir Kaur Puar in 2002, “Desiring Disability: Queer Theory Meets Disability Studies” edited by Robert McRuer and Abby L. Wilkerson in 2003, and “The Work of Friendship: In Memoriam Alan Bray.” These special issues reflect the evolution of queer theory to new areas of engagement, particularly examining transgender issues and other areas of scholarship that expand the name of the journal and the disciplinary space as well. Special issues also function as ways to bring a greater diversity of scholarship—and scholars—to the pages of the journal.

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