Grassroots Literacies

Lesbian and Gay Activism and the Internet in Turkey

By Serkan Görkemli

Subjects: Queer Studies, Lesbian / Gay Studies, Middle East Studies
Series: SUNY series, Praxis: Theory in Action
Paperback : 9781438451824, 246 pages, January 2015
Hardcover : 9781438451831, 246 pages, June 2014

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations
1. Legato in Turkey: Literacy, Media, and Global Sexualities
2. From Queer Empire to Heterosexual Republic: Modernity, Homosexuality, and Media
3. Coming Out and Legato Members’ Narratives of Sexual Literacy
4. Paper Tigers in Digital Closets? Lesbian and Gay Activism, the Internet, and Community Literacy
5. Literacies, Sexualities, and Transnational Rhetorics
Appendix A: Interview Questions
Appendix B: Informed Consent Form
Works Cited

Examines the grassroots activism of an Internet-mediated collegiate lesbian and gay organization in Turkey.


Winner of the 2015 Lavender Rhetorics Award for Excellence in Queer Scholarship's Book Award presented by the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC)

Grassroots Literacies analyzes the complex issues surrounding lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender representations, technology, and grassroots activism in international contexts through the lens of Legato, a collegiate lesbian and gay association that engaged in activism in colleges and universities in Turkey from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s. Using the Internet and digital media, Legato enabled students to connect with each other on campuses across the country and introduced them to new (i. e., lesbian and gay) identity categories and community activism. Serkan Görkemli presents historical, cultural, visual, and interview-based analyses of Legato members' "coming out" experiences and uses of digital media. Members emerged as sexuality activists with the help of the Internet and engaged with negative representations of homosexuality through offline events such as film screenings, reading groups, and conferences in the challenging context of burgeoning civil society efforts in Turkey. Bridging transnational and literacy-based studies, the book ultimately traces the contours of a "transnational literacy" regarding sexuality.

Serkan Görkemli is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Connecticut-Stamford.