17 nov. 2012

Film and Law. Gay rights. Critical Queer Theory

Casey Charles

Critical queer studies: law, film, and fiction in contemporary American cultureAshgate Pub., Farnham, Surrey, UK- Burlington, VT, 2012, 191 pp.
ISBN: 9781409444060

Critical Queer Studies examines contemporary films and documentaries that dramatize the intersection of law and queer life, analysing the effects of legal doctrines-jury selection, unwanted sexual advance, negligence, hate crimes, and gay marriage-on the production and reception of queer film and fiction. Exploring the interaction of these discourses by discussing internationally-known American films, the book demonstrates how the law maintains its hold over the queer subject through promoting certain ideological fictions and conversely how film and literature draw upon the material realities of queer legal status to dramatize conflicts between law and the marginalized subject. Critical Queer Studies synthesizes queer studies, law and literature, and film studies, engaging these fields to show how the struggle for gay and lesbian rights has influenced the production of film and fiction.

A jury of one's queers: revisiting the Dan White trial
Panic in the project
Queer torts: gender trans-gression in the Brandon Teena case
The imagined power: the specter of hate crime in Brokeback Mountain
Queer exposures: making the reel real in Van Sant's Milk
Conclusion: toward a queer political aesthetic.

Casey Charles is a former lawyer who now teaches English at the University of Montana. Both his teaching and literature focus on gay and lesbian literature, queer film, and critical theory. His first book, The Sharon Kowalski Case: Lesbian and Gay Rights on Trial (University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, Kan., 2003, 305 p. ISBN: 978-0700612338), was a finalist for the Publishing Triangle Award in non-fiction.

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