Uncovers the queer nature of heterosexuality on film.
Just as feminist scholars have turned to considerations of masculinity and scholars of race have begun to consider whiteness as a category, this collection brings the insights of queer theory to bear on cinematic representations of straightness. Spanning decades and cultures, from silent Hollywood films to modern Mumbai cinema, the essays in Hetero uncover multiple forms of heterosexual desire and demonstrate that heterosexuality is in fact a heavily contested terrain. Movies often become a place where one specific "heteronormative" ideal is upheld as proper, while other types of heterosexuality are denied or pathologized. By investigating how heterosexuality functions as a social construct, these essays deconstruct normative heterosexuality's simultaneous omnipresence and invisibility, effectively breaking down the barriers of sexual identity. Hetero offers a collective call to expand the ways in which queer theory is applied and put into practical use, and exposes the queer nature of the love that does dare speak its name.
Sean Griffin is Associate Professor in the Division of Cinema-Television at Southern Methodist University. His previous books include Queer Images: A History of Gay and Lesbian Film in America and America on Film: Representing Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality at the Movies.
"This book proves that the analytical tools of queer theory are substantial and revelatory and should not be ghettoized to films that feature gay or transgendered characters." — CHOICE
"By bringing the lessons of queer theory to the analysis of representations of heterosexuality, this book demonstrates that 'hetero' is as complex a category as 'homo.'" — Kristen Hatch, University of California, Irvine