Sunday, November 7, 2010

Version 1.4 is here, and a few upcoming changes...

It’s been a little while, but I have finally got around to adding a few more titles to the bibliography (check it out here). This is largely due to the suggestions of a few readers of this little blog, specifically another lovely bookish type, my new found interwebs friend Anna Watson. Anna is another femme passionate about writing by and about femmes who suggested a number of titles I hadn’t thought of and/or heard about (Mabel Maney’s wonderful work —which you’ll see listed in the updated bibliography—being one example). Anna’s name might be ringing some bells for those of you who’ve read Visible: A Femmethology, Volume One. She wrote an excellent piece called “Femme Bookworm, or, What’s a Girl to Read When She’s Feeling Invisible?” If you haven’t yet read either volume of Visible, please go check out the Femmethology website to learn more about this amazing collection, or go straight to Homofactus Press to order your copy right now.
But I digress. What I’m really very bouncing-in-my-seat-excited to announce is that Anna is going to come on board the Femme Bibliography Project to help put together an additional bibliography! Amidst her suggestions of additional titles, Anna asked if I had thought about including pieces that may not be femme-authored, but include femme characters. I had not. But what a great idea! After mulling this over a bit, I started to think that what was necessary was a separate listing of books and stories with femme characters. This seemed to make sense to me for a couple of reasons, one being that (while I might be wrong here), there must be so many femme characters out there in the world of words that adding each instance of femme literary representation would make the original bibliography unwieldy. Secondly, I think it’s important to distinguish between femme voices (i.e. works that are femme-authored) and femme representation (i.e. femme characters), even though those two categories may line up often enough.
This means that in the future not only will you be able to come here to find academic resources on queer femininity, narrative pieces about femme, and femme-authored lit, but you’ll also be able to find listings of stories (smutty and otherwise) that feature queer feminine folks, like Leslie Feinberg’s Stone Butch Blues, or Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness. Anna and I both share a sense of how important these literary representations are for queer femmes whose daily experiences of invisibility often leave us craving representation, in any form. As Anna writes in “Femme Bookworm,” “I am femme, but there are times when I feel myself fading out, passing from view, when I look in the mirror and see nothing but a misty shape, rapidly receding.” But, as she tells us later on, those who write femme characters “have given me the great gift of writing loved versions of lives that look a lot like mine. Reading and rereading their work allows this bookworm, for brief restorative moments, to realize fully my femme self.”
So, all of that being said, you can look forward to a future additional femme bibliography that is dedicated to documenting instances of femme-representation in literature and smut (I’ve actually removed the smut section from version 1.4 for this reason), that will come to you mostly via the knowledge and research of one Anna Watson. While we have yet to work out the details of this arrangement, I am super excited to be teaming up with someone who has such a passion for this kind of work, and I’m even more excited to be able make all of this writing more accessible to you readers. Yay!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

version 1.3: more femme theory!

Hours of google scholar searching really paid off this time (i know it seems like cheating, but really, google is just so easy)! Version 1.3 is up and ready for perusal--check it out here. In it you'll find references for a number of new academic pieces plus some additions to the writing femme and femme lit sections. One article I was pleased as punch to find is Elizabeth Galewski's "Figuring the Feminist Femme," a really intelligent piece on re-thinking how we theorize femme's feminist and political potential. Wordy goodness indeed!

As always, suggestions for additional resources and modes of organization are welcome! I'm sure that much is missing, and my intent is to make this bibliography as comprehensive as possible, so let me know if you have any ideas.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

new version!

I've got around to re-organizing the first version of the bibliography and adding in some new entries (check it out here). The current version is divided into 4 subgroups:

1) Femme, in theory: queer femininity meets the academy
2) Writing femme: narratives on femme gender, sexuality, community
3) Femme lit: femme-authored poetry, prose, short stories and novels
4) Femme in the sheets: smut written by/about femmes

My hope is that this makes the entries more navigable. Let me know what you think! And feel free to contact me with any suggestions for additional sources/organizational ideas...

Friday, August 13, 2010

definitional quandry #1

How does one decide what counts as writing on femme?

Well, to begin, the piece must have something to do with femme/queer femininity. That's easy enough. But, being the independent femme that I am, the first stumbling block I run into is this: Do I detach femme writing from the writing on femme-butch, make this bibliography a political statement that, as Chloe Brushwood Rose and Anna Camilleri put it in their intro to Brazen Femme, "liberates femme from its binary relation with butch...celebrat[ing] and complicat[ing] femme as a gender experience on its own terms" (13)? That is, do I make this a bibliography of writing that is only on femme?

No? I say no because, well, for one, historically, femme is very much tied to butch, and as such, a lot of writing on femme is in the context of femme-butch (indeed, a lot of the first pieces on queer femininity that I read were about butch-femme, or pieces on femme in larger anthologies of butch-femme writing). So, for those eager to get their hands on all things femme, work on femme-butch is fairly important. Even for what it doesn't say--I wouldn't want to exclude something like Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold, which, in its very limited discussion of femme, tells us something about the way in which femme is/has been perceived and conceptualized.

But with all that being said, I'm not so sure. For now, I've included anthologies like The Persistent Desire because there are pieces in those anthologies that do tackle femme "as a gender experience on its own terms," but I haven't included specific pieces on the butch-femme dyad.

What are your thoughts?


Hi, and welcome to the Femme Bibliography Project! As you might've guessed from the title, this blog is my attempt to compile an exhaustive list of all the writing I can find on femme/queer femininity. (If you'd like to read about why and how I'm attempting to do this, go here: About The FBP).

Currently, the first version of bibliography (which you can find here) is but an alphabetized list of all the resources I have compiled so far. There are anthologies, journal articles, books of poetry/prose, personal essays from larger anthologies, academic texts, etc. The only criteria I have is that each resource pertain to queer femininity and/or femme. This is, of course, proving harder to pin point than I initially assumed, so I'll be working out some of those organizational questions on this blog as well (for example, should the femme bibliography include writing on butch-femme?).

In the meantime, please email me with any suggestions you might have regarding additional resources or organizational approaches. I'd love to hear them!