Associate Professor of English
Massachusetts Hall - 107
Guy Mark Foster
Examines the major postwar writings of the controversial African American author and the role his fiction and nonfiction played in challenging that era’s static understandings of racial, gender, and sexual politics. Although Baldwin lived abroad for much of his life, many critics associate the author narrowly with the United States black civil rights and sexual liberation struggles. In recent years, however, Baldwin has increasingly been recognized as a transnational figure and for his invaluable contributions to the discourse of globalization. Indeed, Baldwin’s “geographical imagination,” one informed by critical racial literacy, led him to anticipate many of the central insights of contemporary Queer Studies, Whiteness Studies, as well as Africana philosophical thought.
Guy Mark Foster
Using an intersectional reading approach, students closely analyze both classic and more contemporary lesbigay, trans, and queer fictional texts of the last one hundred years. Students consider the historically and culturally changing ways that sexuality has been understood within popular, medical, as well as religious discourses. And because gender conflict and the tendency to analogize the struggles of sexual and racial minorities are key features of this literary tradition, students are expected to engage this subject matter sensitively and critically. Possible texts include The Well of Loneliness, Giovanni’s Room, Rubyfruit Jungle, A Single Man, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, and The Limits of Pleasure.
“What To Do If Your Inner Tomboy Is a Homo: Straight Women, Bisexuality, and Pleasure in M/M Gay Romance Fictions.” (2015) Journal of Bisexuality. 15:4, 509-531. (PDF)
"The Rest of Us: Stories" (Lethe Press, 2013)
"African American Literature and Queer Studies: The Conundrum of James Baldwin." A Companion to African American Literature. Ed. Gene Andrew Jarett, Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. (Access article in PDF)
"'Do I look like someone you can come home to from where you may be going?'" Re-mapping Interracial Desire in Octavia Butler's Kindred." African American Review 41.1 Spring 2007. (Access article in PDF)
"How Dare a Black Woman Make Love to a White Man! Black Women Romance Novelists and the Taboo of Interracial Desire." Empowerment versus Oppression: 21st Century Views of Popular Romance Novels. Ed. Sally Goade, Cambridge Scholars Press, 2007. (Access article in PDF)
"Desire and the 'Big Black Sex Cop': Race and the Politics of Intimacy on HBO's Six Feet Under" (The New Queer Aesthetic on Television: Essays on Recent Programming, Eds. James Keller & Leslie Stratyner, McFarland Publishers, 2006) (Access article in PDF)
Encyclopedia Entries: ZZ Packer and Robert Stepto. An Encyclopedia of African American Literature. Eds. Hans Ostrom and David Macey. Greenwood Press (forthcoming).
"Welcome to the Funhouse: Critical Theory and the 'Problem' of Interracial Sexuality." Review Essay of Black Venus: Sexualized Savages, Primal Fears, and Primitive Narratives in French (Duke UP, 1999), T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting. Radical Philosophy Review 2.2 (Winter, 1999): 10 pages. (Access article in PDF)
"This Man and Me." Ancestral House: The Black Short Story in The Americas and Europe. Ed. Charles H. Rowell (CO: Westview Press, 1995), Fiction. (Access article in PDF)
Review of Lives of Notable Gay Men and Lesbians: James Baldwin, Randall Kenan (Chelsea House Publishers, 1994). Lambda Book Report. March/April 1994.
Review of The Tranquil Lake of Love: Poems, Carl Cook (Vega Press, 1993). Lambda Book Report. September/October 1993.
"Legacy" and "Lasius Niger." Sojourner: Black Gay Voices in the Age of AIDS. Ed. B. Michael Hunter (NY: Other Countries Press, 1993), Fiction.
"The Book of Luke." Brother to Brother: New Writings by Black Gay Men. Ed. Essex Hemphill (Boston: Alyson Publications, 1991), Fiction.
"Immortally Yours." Shadows of Love: American Gay Fiction. Ed. Charles Jurrist (Boston: Alyson Publications, 1988), Fiction.
Book project: "Waking Up with the Enemy: Postwar African American Literature and the Ethics of Interracial Intimacy"
Common Hour: The Karofsky Faculty Encore Lecture: "Race Traitors and Their Critics: Unmasking Interracial Anxiety in Octavia Butler's Kindred"
Academic Spotlight: "Romance Novels Explore Racial Boundaries"