Queer Representations, edited by Martin Duberman, celebrates the eclectic nature of gay and lesbian culture and scholarship. The volume features 34 writers and academics, including Chris Straayer, David Halperin, Mandy Merk, Allen Ellenzweig, Joan Nestle, George Custen, Jill Johnston, Joe Keenan, Allen Ginsberg, Edmund White, Samuel Delany, and Dale Peck.
Ed Sikov's essay, "Laughing Hysterically," traces, in both broad strokes and pinpointed details, the way in which classical Hollywood comedies simultaneously repress and reveal gay identities, themes, and sensibilities. From Chaplin's City Lights through Hawks's Bringing Up Baby to the films of Frank Tashlin, Jerry Lewis, and Dean Martin, "Laughing Hysterically" shows that no amount of Hollywood censorship was ever able to erase gay men and gay ideas from American mass culture.
*The essay is drawn from a 45-minute presentation - illustrated with film clips - that I have delivered at the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the City University of New York, Yale University, the University of Michigan, Colorado College, and the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center in New York. Audiences have ranged from film students and gay academics to members of the wider community. For more information, please contact me. By the way, I'm cheap. To quote Kirk Douglas at the end of Billy Wilder's Ace in the Hole, "I'm a thousand-dollar a day newspaperman - you can have me for nothing but travel expenses and a small honorarium."