Henry Abelove, literary critic, astute historian, and pioneer in queer studies, offers interdisciplinary views on the connections between politics, culture, and sexuality. Deep Gossip addresses the willful misreading of Freud's views on homosexuality among American psychoanalysts; reconsiders sexual practice during England's eighteenth century; assesses the contemporary relevance of Thoreau's Walden, particularly to queer politics; and traces the emergence of a queer critique of previous approaches to lesbian and gay history. Abelove uncovers the origins of American studies as a scholarly discipline and evaluates the impact of literature - specifically the same-sex eroticism found in works by such writers as James Baldwin, Elizabeth Bishop, Paul Bowles, and Ned Rorem - on the gay liberation movement of the 1970s. The essays gathered in Deep Gossip confirm Henry Abelove's reputation as one of America's leading thinkers on the cultural politics of sexuality.
Henry Abelove is Willbur Fisk Osborne Professor of English and director of the Center for the Humanities at Wesleyan University. He is author of The Evangelist of Desire: John Wesley and the Methodists (1990) and coeditor (with Michele Aina Barale and David M. Halperin) of The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader (1993).