Books Acquired Recently: Half Queer, Half Mennonite Edition

Queer

As I have written here a number of times before, the “problem” with reading a lot of queer theory is that I am constantly encountering citations of other queer books that I want to acquire and read. I bought the three following books as a result of reading other queer writers. Cherry’s and Rechy’s books were specifically cited in my recent reading, and I discovered Brintnall, Marchal, and Moore’s book (which came out in November, but has a copyright date of 2018) while searching for some queer theology to read after a colleague suggested that I do so.

I purchased all three from amazon.com’s network of independent booksellers.

Brintnall, Kent L., Joseph A. Marchal, and Stephen D. Moore, ed. Sexual Disorientations: Queer Temporalities, Affects, Theologies. New York: Fordham University Press, 2018.

Fordham University’s main campus is in the Bronx, so it is interesting that they have their Press located in Manhattan. (They have a satellite campus in Manhattan, but the Press predates it.) The church I went to when I lived in the Bronx, North Bronx Mennonite, used to meet in a chapel on Fordham’s campus.

Cherry, Kittredge. Jesus in Love. Berkeley, CA: AndroGyne Press, 2006.

When my copy of this novel came in the mail I was happy to discover that it was autographed by the author.

Rechy, John. The Sexual Outlaw: A Documentary. New York: Grove Press, 1977.

Mennonite

One of my former college professors, Ervin Beck, sent me some Mennonite literature that was recently discarded by the College Mennonite Church (in Goshen, Indiana; I did an internship there nearly twenty years ago) library.

Miller, Levi. Ben’s Wayne. Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 1989.

Rich, Elaine Sommers. Pondered in Her Heart. Newton, KS: Wordsworth, 1998.

Rimland, Ingrid. The Wanderers: The Saga of Three Women Who Survived. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1977.

I did a report on this novel in Beck’s 2001 Mennonite literature course, so I am excited to encounter it again. It is a controversial text because it implies that the Nazis weren’t that bad because they were German (note that some Mennonites in North America still hold church services in German), which is unfortunately an attitude that a lot of Mennonites in the 1940s shared.

Published by danielshankcruz

I grew up in New York City and lived in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Goshen, Indiana; DeKalb, Illinois; and Salt Lake City, Utah before coming to Utica, New York. My mother’s family is Swiss-German Mennonite (i.e., it’s an ethnicity, not necessarily a theological persuasion) and my father’s family is Puerto Rican. I have a Ph.D. in English and currently teach at Utica College. I have also taught at Northern Illinois University and Westminster College in Salt Lake City. My teaching and scholarship are motivated by a passion for social justice, which is why my research focuses on the literature of oppressed groups, especially LGBT persons and people of color. While I primarily read and write about fiction, I am also a devoted reader of poetry because, as William Carlos Williams writes, “It is difficult / to get the news from poems / yet [people] die miserably every day / for lack / of what is found there.” Thinkers who influence me include Marina Abramovic, Kathy Acker, Di Brandt, Ana Castillo, Samuel R. Delany, Percival Everett, Essex Hemphill, Jane Jacobs, Walt Whitman, and the New York School of poets. I am also fond of queer Mennonite writers such as Stephen Beachy, Jan Guenther Braun, Lynnette Dueck/D’anna, and Casey Plett. In my free time I’m either reading, writing the occasional poem, playing board games (especially Scrabble, backgammon, and chess), watching sports (Let’s Go, Mets!), or cooking (curries, stews, roasts…).

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