Prem Sahib: A Reading List

Andree Latham

14 Oct 2015
To coincide with the launch of our new exhibition Prem Sahib: Side On, Andree Latham has put together this great reading list.

To coincide with the launch of our new exhibition Prem Sahib: Side On, Andree Latham has put together this great reading list, with titles exploring everything from queer culture and the urban environment to digital media. All titles are available online or in our bookshop on The Mall.

An Archaeology of the Immaterial
Victor Buchli
An Archaeology of the Immaterial examines a largely unexplored aspect of material culture studies: the active rejection of the material world. Exploring these ‘dematerialisations’ through examining economics, cultural perceptions, social inclusion and exclusion, Buchli identifies the ways in which people might seek to transcend, or detach from, their material circumstances.

Touch: Sensuous Theory and Multisensory Media
Laura Marks
In Touch, Laura Mark’s critical approach moves beyond the visual and into the sensory, proposing a physical engagement that reflects upon media art as a tactile experience. Analysing the work of artists such as animators the Brothers Quay and filmmaker Ken Jacobs alongside lesser-known figures, Laura Marks challenges the ‘virtuality’ of digital media through discussing its material alternatives.

Queer London: Perils and Pleasures in the Sexual Metropolis, 1918-1957
Matt Houlbrook
Drawing upon newspaper exposés, police reports and personal letters and diaries, Houlbrook provides a compelling portrait of his protagonist, Cyril L, as he narrates his experiences of a queer 1930s London. Praised by The Times as  “ground-breaking” and a “compelling account of interwar sexualities,” Queer London is a landmark work, which acts to redefine queer urban life by challenging our conventional understanding of the city as a place of sexual liberation.

Cruising Utopia, The Then and There of Queer Futurity
Jose Esteban Munoz
Half manifesto, half love-letter to the past and the future, Cruising Utopia progresses beyond the short-sightedness of a narrow LGBT agenda in a plea for the revivification of the queer political imagination. Jose Esteban Munoz’s in-depth analysis draws from the work of Ernst Bloch, Andy Warhol and Frank O’Hara, as well as contemporary artists such as Ray Johnson and Elizabeth Bishop. Projecting a positive theoretical and cultural ‘cruising ahead,’ Jose Esteban Munoz succeeds in manoeuvring his discussion of queer history into a vehicle with which to visualise a vibrant future.

Samuel R. Delany
Winner of the William Whitehead Memorial Award for a lifetime's contribution to gay and lesbian literature, the 1968 work Hogg has been called one of America's most famous 'unpublishable' novels. The plot involves a silent pre-adolescent boy sold into sexual slavery to a rapist named "Hogg," who exposes him to a world of disturbing sexual excesses.

No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive
Lee Edelman
This psychoanalytically-inspired work proposes a radical new ethics of queer theory. In No Future, Edelman examines the innocent child as representative of the possibility of a future, comparing it to the queer as an embodiment of a relentlessly future-negating drive. Providing strikingly original readings of Dickens, Eliot and Hitchcock, Edleman argues against a political culture dominated by sentimental illusion, discussing homosexuality’s penance as the antithesis to ‘reproductive futurism.’ ■

Prem Sahib: Side On runs 24 September - 15 November.