Masculinity in Robert Cormier’s [The Chocolate War]

It's 1:53 a.m. and I currently can't sleep because of this book. I was going to wait and write about it in the morning, but I really need to engage in the cathartic process of writing in order to make sense of all of the thoughts that are fireworking in my head. I was expecting … Continue reading Masculinity in Robert Cormier’s [The Chocolate War]

Towards a Livable Mode of Existence: Judith Butler’s [Undoing Gender]

Front cover of Judith Butler's Undoing Gender (2004)Reading Butler is truly a worthwhile exercise for the mind interested in gender, queer theory, and human life in general. Undoing Gender is essentially a revision of Butler's groundbreaking book entitled Gender Trouble, which was originally published in 1990. In Undoing Gender, Butler not only adds more nuance … Continue reading Towards a Livable Mode of Existence: Judith Butler’s [Undoing Gender]

Masculinity Without Men? Judith Halberstam’s [Female Masculinity]

When we invoke the iconic image of James Bond, masculinity is usually one of the first notions that comes to mind. My friend and colleague, Dan Murphy, insightfully points out that even when James Bond utters his casual introductory catchphrase, "Bond, James Bond," these simple words resonate within our thoughts because they express "an appealing version … Continue reading Masculinity Without Men? Judith Halberstam’s [Female Masculinity]

A Queer Overview of Judith Butler’s [Gender Trouble]

Rich, complex, difficult, and groundbreaking are just a few of the words that are usually associated with Judith Butler's works. Despite the fact that her texts are often described as "tedious" and "overwrought," reading Butler is well worth the effort, and I'm often amazed at the way she is able to wrestle with difficult ideas. … Continue reading A Queer Overview of Judith Butler’s [Gender Trouble]

Curiouser: On the Queerness of Children

What is a queer child? What happens when a child moves away from accepted conventions of sexuality and adult heteronormativity? What are the repercussions of protecting children from the inevitable discovery of sexuality? How do storytellers control, regulate, or contest the notion of childhood sexuality? Curiouser: On the Queerness of Children is a collection of thought-provoking essays … Continue reading Curiouser: On the Queerness of Children

Harry Potter and the Pink Umbrella: A Gendered Analysis of Hagrid

Little can be said of the Harry Potter franchise that hasn't already been said. Not only has Harry Potter become one of the most lucrative book series in history, but it has also won countless awards and cemented J.K. Rowling's position as a tour de force of children's literature. It has been adapted into a series of eight films that … Continue reading Harry Potter and the Pink Umbrella: A Gendered Analysis of Hagrid

John Corey Whaley’s “Where Things Come Back” – A Haunting and Truly Thought-Provoking Read

It is difficult to find quality young adult novels with a sensitive male teenager as the protagonist. While this has to do with the stereotypes generally tied to readers of the genre, the rarity of this character also has a lot to do with issues and perceptions of gender in contemporary society. There is something … Continue reading John Corey Whaley’s “Where Things Come Back” – A Haunting and Truly Thought-Provoking Read

Male Prostitution and [The Hunger Games] – The Case of Finnick Odair

Perhaps one of the most shocking moments of Suzanne Collins's Mockingjay is when the reader finds out that Finnick Odair--a past victor of the Hunger Games tournament who is attractive and always surrounded by suitors--reveals that he was sold and used as a sex slave for wealthy patrons residing in the Capitol. This confession is broadcasted across the dystopic … Continue reading Male Prostitution and [The Hunger Games] – The Case of Finnick Odair