Critical Queer Studies examines contemporary films and documentaries that dramatize the intersection of law and queer life, analyzing the effects of legal doctrines-jury selection, unwanted sexual advance, negligence, hate crimes, and gay marriage-on the production and reception of queer film and fiction. Exploring the interaction of these discourses by discussing internationally-known American films, the book demonstrates how the law maintains its hold over the queer subject through promoting certain ideological fictions and conversely how film and literature draw upon the material realities of queer legal status to dramatize conflicts between law and the marginalized subject. Critical Queer Studies synthesizes queer studies, law and literature, and film studies, engaging these fields to show how the struggle for gay and lesbian rights has influenced the production of film and fiction.
Casey Charles is a former lawyer who now teaches English at the University of Montana. Both his teaching and literature focus on gay and lesbian literature, queer film, and critical theory. His first book, The Sharon Kowalski Case: Lesbian and Gay Rights on Trial (Kansas 2003), was a finalist for the Publishing Triangle Award in non-fiction.
'... impressive book... Highly recommended.' Choice 'This is a highly accessible, very readable, topical and acute study of a neglected area of doctrine. Using a sophisticated theoretical model and the most contemporary of case law, Charles builds an impressive argument for supplementing the cultural study of law with critical queer studies. His political astuteness, easy style, and use of film as well as literature mean that this work will appeal to students as well as scholars.' Peter Goodrich, Cardozo School of Law, USA 'Writing fearlessly at an uneasy crossroads, Casey Charles draws out the ways in which film and literature interact with the multiple areas of law that impact the LGBTQ community. This book provides rich and compelling readings of the articulations between contemporary legal and cultural representations of queer lives.' Sara Murphy, New York University, USA 'I believe that Critical Queer Studies makes a valuable and genuinely useful contribution to the fields of film studies, critical legal studies, and queer and gender studies.' British Universities Film & Video Council, Viewfinder