Another Country

Queer Anti-Urbanism

256 pages

37 illustrations

June, 2010

ISBN: 9780814737194

$26

Paper

Also available in

Subjects:

Cultural StudiesLGBT Studies

Part of the Sexual Cultures series

Author

Scott Herring teaches in the Department of English at Indiana University. He is the author of Queering the Underworld: Slumming, Literature, and the Undoing of Lesbian and Gay History.

All books by Scott Herring

The metropolis has been the near exclusive focus of queer scholars and queer cultures in America. Asking us to look beyond the cities on the coasts, Scott Herring draws a new map, tracking how rural queers have responded to this myopic mindset. Interweaving a wide range of disciplines—art, media, literature, performance, and fashion studies—he develops an extended critique of how metronormativity saturates LGBTQ politics, artwork, and criticism. To counter this ideal, he offers a vibrant theory of queer anti-urbanism that refuses to dismiss the rural as a cultural backwater.

Impassioned and provocative, Another Country expands the possibilities of queer studies beyond its city limits. Herring leads his readers from faeries in the rural Midwest to photographs of white supremacists in the deep South, from Roland Barthes’s obsession with Parisian fashion to a graphic memoir by Alison Bechdel set in the Appalachian Mountains, and from cubist paintings in Lancaster County to lesbian separatist communes on the northern California coast. The result is an entirely original account of how queer studies can—and should—get to another country.

Reviews

  • "Herring has a distinctive voice, elegant with a sharp wit...a book that is as beautiful as it is brilliant."

    The Journal of American History

  • "Smart and edgy...the value of this book lies principally in the provocative conceptual tools it offers to articulate the roadblocks and raptures of queer migrations."

    —Amin Ghaziani, American Journal of Sociology

  • “Scott Herring presents an exquisitely detailed road atlas of the complicated intersection between topography and destiny.”

    —Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home and Dykes to Watch Out For

  • “Reading across the genres of literature, print and visual media, photography, and fashion, Scott Herring not only complicates the queer’s move from rural to urban space, but also the ways in which queers in ‘othered’ spaces enact an anti-urbanism through their own ‘rural stylistics.’ Another Country is fierce!”

    —E. Patrick Johnson, author of Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South;An Oral History

  • “Writers, artists, and activists have worked throughout the past century to imagine and materialize sustainable queer lives everywhere from Oregon to Pennsylvania, from Iowa to Alabama. Herring provides the definitive account of the myriad ways that LGBT people have constituted non-urban sites as vibrant and sexy spaces of resistance to hetero- and homonormativity, to compulsory consumerism, and to entrenched hierarchies of race, class, gender, and ability. In so doing, Another Country redraws the map of contemporary queer studies.”

    —Robert McRuer, author of Crip Theory: Cultural Signs of Queerness and Disability

  • "In Another Country, Herring responds to gaps that urban-centered studies have left opened in queer histories . . . Herring's work evidences a fierce commitment to existing queer metropolitan-migration narratives, favoring the backward, rustic and unfashionable, and embracing these stereotypes for their own subversively disruptive potentials. His quality content analysis and skillful ability to anticipate counter-arguments and avoid intellectual pitfalls keeps the reader on her toes."

    —Jaime Cantrell, Feminist Formations