Between Camp and Cursi
Humor and Homosexuality in Contemporary Mexican Narrative
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Examines how contemporary Mexican literature uses humor to contest heteronormativity.
Between Camp and Cursi examines the role of humor in portrayals of homosexuality in contemporary Mexican literature. Brandon P. Bisbey argues that humor based on camp and cursilería—a form of "bad taste" that expresses a sense of social marginalization—is used to represent key social conflicts and contradictions of modernity in Mexico. Combining perspectives from queer theory, humor theory, and Latin American cultural studies, Bisbey looks at a corpus of canonical and lesser-known texts that treat a range of topics relevant to contemporary discussions of gender, sexuality, race, and human rights in Mexico—including sex work, transvestitism, bisexuality, same-sex marriage, racism, classism, and homophobic and transphobic violence. Emphasizing the subversive possibilities of the comic, Between Camp and Cursi considers how this body of twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature has challenged heteronormativity in Mexico and wrestled more broadly with both the colonial underpinnings of modernity and hegemonic Western gender norms.
Brandon P. Bisbey is Associate Professor of Spanish and Coordinator of Latina/o and Latin American Studies at Northeastern Illinois University.
"Between Camp and Cursi is a welcome addition to the study of a branch of Mexican literature that has been neglected over the years. Brandon Bisbey dissects with an expert hand these narratives and amply demonstrates the rich variety of the gay experience in Mexico and the desire of authors to engage with and challenge homosexual and lesbian stereotypes with camp and cursi humor … Students at all levels of university will find this book full of rich insight and solid arguments that will broaden their understanding of issues of homosexuality as they have slowly emerged in a country known for its homophobia and machismo." — Hispania
"Between Camp and Cursi explores an area of study—humor—that demands further research in contemporary Mexican literature. Bisbey's analysis blends together an eclectic yet coherent mix of texts and is sure to be attractive to a wide variety of readers in Mexican literary and cultural studies, Latin American studies, and gender and sexuality studies." — Vinodh Venkatesh, author of Capitán Latinoamérica: Superheroes in Cinema, Television, and Web Series