I am hesitant to use the expression “politically correct,” but feel it is closer to the original sense (from radical feminist debates regarding what kind of sex is “politically correct”) than the more recent backlashes against feminism, multiculturalism, and gay and lesbian studies. Chuck Kleinhans has suggested to me that this controversial aspect of The Polymath might explain its reception:
(Fortunately, it has since screened at gay film festivals in San Francisco and London.) The Tribeca Film Festival paired The Polymath with the documentary On the Downlow (Child, 2007), perhaps suggesting that both documentaries explore complex and politically incorrect topics within African-American and gay communities (despite the politically correct name of the festival program, “Coming Out”). I would like to thank Fred Barney Taylor for sending me a promotional copy of The Polymath for this review. [return to page 1 of essay]
Barthes, Roland. “Preface to Renaud Camus’s Tricks.” The Rustle of Language. Berkeley: U of California P, 1989. 291–95.
Barthes, Roland. Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes. Trans. Richard Howard. New York: Farrar, 1977.
Benjamin, Walter. “On the Concept of History.” Trans. Dennis Redmond. 4 August 2001.
Cvetkovich, Anne. An Archive of Feelings: Trauma, Sexuality, and Lesbian Public Cultures. Durham: Duke UP, 2003.
Cvetkovich, Ann. “The Powers of Seeing and Being Seen: Truth or Dare and Paris Is Burning.” Film Theory Goes to the Movies. Ed. Collins, Radner & Collins. New York: Routledge, 1993. 155–69.
de Certeau, Michel. The Practice of Everyday Life. Berkeley: U of California P, 1988.
de Villiers, Nicholas. “Leaving the Cinema: Metacinematic Cruising in Tsai Ming-Liang’s Goodbye, Dragon Inn.” Jump Cut 50. Spring 2008.
Delany, Samuel R. The Motion of Light in Water: Sex and Science Fiction Writing in the East Village. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2004 (1988).
Delany, Samuel R. Times Square Red, Times Square Blue. New York: NYU P, 1999.
Edelman, Lee. No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive. Durham: Duke UP, 2004.
Edelman, Lee. “Tearooms and Sympathy, or, The Epistemology of the Water Closet.” The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader. Ed. Abelove et al. New York: Routledge, 1993. 553–74.
Foucault, Michel. “Sexual Choice, Sexual Act.” Foucault Live: Collected Interviews, 1961-1984. Ed. Sylvère Lotringer. New York: Semiotext(e), 1996. 322–34.
“George Michael English Archive 1998”:
Halberstam, Judith. In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives. New York: NYU P, 2005.
Harris, Daniel. A Memoir of No One in Particular. New York: Basic, 2002.
Hemphill, Essex, ed. Brother To Brother: New Writings by Black Gay Men. Los Angeles: Alyson, 1991.
Kim, Richard. “Brokeback GOP.” Blog. The Nation. 27 August 2007.
Morris, Gary. “Mondo Tranny: Monika Treut’s Gendernauts.” Bright Lights Film Journal 34. October 2001.
Muñoz, José Esteban. “Ghosts of Public Sex: Utopian Longings, Queer Memories.” Policing Public Sex: Queer Politics and the Future of AIDS Activism. Ed. Strange Bedfellows. Boston: South End Press, 1996. 355–72.
Nero, Charles I. “Why Are the Gay Ghettoes White?” Black Queer Studies. Ed. E. Patrick Johnson and Mae G. Henderson. Durham: Duke UP, 2005. 228–245.
Payne, Robert. “Gay scene, queer grid.” Conference paper presented at Queer Space: Centres and Peripheries. University of Technology Sydney. 20–21 February 2007. Online conference proceedings:
Rubin, Gayle. “Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality.” The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader. Ed. Henry Abelove, Michèle Aina Barale, and David M. Halperin. New York: Routledge, 1992. 3–44.
Ryan, Joelle Ruby. “Whose Streets? Our Streets!: Trans Bodies as Agents of Revolutionary Change.” Conference paper presented at Battleground States: The Body and Culture. Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio. February 2008.
Scott, Joan W. “The Evidence of Experience.” Critical Inquiry 17.4 (Summer 1991): 773–97.
Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. “Queer and Now.” Tendencies. Durham: Duke U P, 1993. 1–20.
Taylor, Clyde. “New U.S. Black Cinema.” Movies and Mass Culture. Ed. John Belton. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 1996. 231–46.
Tribeca Film Festival program notes for The Polymath and On the Downlow.
Warner, Michael. The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and the Ethics of Queer Life. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2000.
And the Band Played On. Dir. Roger Spottiswoode. Writ. Randy Shilts & Arnold Schulman. HBO, 1993.
A Walk into the Sea: Danny Williams and the Warhol Factory. Dir. Esther Robinson. Arthouse, 2007.
Bush Mama. Dir. Haile Gerima. Tricontinental, 1976.
Derrida. Dir. Kirby Dick & Amy Ziering Kofman. Zeitgeist, 2002.
Fenced Out. Paper Tiger Television/New Neutral Zone/FIERCE, 2001.
Gay Sex in the 70s. Dir. Joseph F. Lovett. Wolfe Video, 2005.
Gay Sex in the 70s (trailer). YouTube:
Gendernauts: A Journey Through Shifting Identities (Gendernauts—Eine Reise durch die Geschlechter). Dir. Monika Treut. First Run, 1999.
“Outside.” Music video. Perf. George Michael. YouTube:
Paris Is Burning. Dir. Jennie Livingston. Off White Productions, 1990.
Pride Divide. Dir. Paris Poirier. Filmakers Library, 1997.
Railroad Turnbridge. Dir. Richard Serra. 1976.
The Birth of a Nation. Dir. D.W. Griffith. Epoch, 1915. (Kino Video, 2002.)
The Cruise. Dir. Bennett Miller. Artisan, 1998.
The Polymath, or, The Life and Opinions of Samuel R. Delany, Gentleman. Dir. Fred Barney Taylor. MaestroMedia, 2007.
“This Used To Be My Playground.” Music video. Perf. Madonna. YouTube [taken off due to copyright claim]
Urinal (Pissoir). Dir. John Greyson. Frameline, 1988.
Zizek. Dir. Astra Taylor. Zeitgeist, 2005.