Linda Garber

Associate Professor, Women’s & Gender Studies

Phone: (408) 551-1913

Current Work

Identity Poetics: Race, Class, and the Lesbian-Feminist Roots of Queer Theory. New York: Columbia University Press, 2001.

Identity Poetics argues that Queer theory alternately buries and vilifies lesbian feminism, missing its valuable insights and ignoring its rich contributions. The book rejects the either/or choice between lesbianism and queer theory, favoring an inclusive approach that defies the factionalism that split lesbian politics and scholarship in the 1990s. Challenging the privileging of queer theory in the academy, Identity Poetics calls for recognition of the historical -- and intellectually significant -- role of lesbian poets as theorists of lesbian identity and activism.

The connections are most clearly seen when looking at the pivotal work of working-class lesbians/lesbians of color whose articulations of multiple, simultaneous identity positions and activist politics both belong to lesbian feminism and presage queer theory. Identity Poetics includes a critical overview of recent historical writing about the women's and lesbian-feminist movements of the 1970s; discussions of the works of Judy Grahn, Pat Parker, Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich, and Gloria Anzaldúa; and, finally, a chapter on the rise and hegemony of queer theory within LGBTQ studies.

Representative Publications

“We Meet Again,” co-authored with Marilyn Wann, in Alice Ginsberg and Karen Bojar, eds., And Finally We Meet: Intersections and Intersectionality Among Feminist Activists, Academics and Students, Towson University Press, 2011.

“Necessity is the Invention of Lesbians,” in Noreen Giffney, ed., The Lesbian Premodern. Hampshire, UK and New York: Palgrave MacMillian, 2011.

“The Curious Persistence of Lesbian Studies,” in Michael O’Rourke and Noreen Giffney, eds., The Ashgate Research Companion to Queer Theory. Farnham, Surrey, UK: Ashgate Press, December 2009.

“On the Evolution of Queer Studies: Lesbian Feminism, Queer Theory, and Globalization,” in Diane Richardson, Janice McLaughlin, and Mark Casey, eds., Intersections between Feminist and Queer Theory: Sexualities, Cultures, and Identities, New York and London: Palgrave-MacMillan, 2006.

“Spirit, Culture, Sex: Elements of the Creative Process in Gloria Anzaldúa’s Poetry,” in AnaLouise Keating, ed., Entremundos/Among Worlds: Creative and Critical Perspectives on Gloria E. Anzaldúa. New York/London: Palgrave/MacMillan, 2005.

“Where in the World Are the Lesbians?” Journal of the History of Sexuality 14:1 (January-April 2005).

“One Step Global, Two Steps Back? Race, Gender and Queer Studies,” GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 10:1 (2004):125-28.

Identity Poetics: Race, Class, and the Lesbian-Feminist Roots of Queer Theory. New York: Columbia University Press, 2001.

Tilting the Tower: Lesbians/Teaching/Queer Subjects. New York: Routledge, 1994. Editor.

Lesbian Sources: A Bibliography of Periodical Articles, 1970-1990. New York: Garland, 1993.