Lesbian Potentiality and Feminist Media in the 1970s

Lesbian Potentiality and Feminist Media in the 1970s

a Camera Obscura book

by Rox Samer

Published by: Duke University Press Books

312 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 x 0.00 mm, 49 illustrations

  • ISBN: 9781478018025
  • Published: May 2022

£20.99

In Lesbian Potentiality and Feminist Media in the 1970s, Rox Samer explores how 1970s feminists took up the figure of the lesbian in broad attempts to reimagine gender and sexuality. Samer turns to feminist film, video, and science fiction literature, offering a historiographical concept called “lesbian potentiality”—a way of thinking beyond what the lesbian was in favor of how the lesbian signified what could have come to be. Samer shows how the labor of feminist media workers and fans put lesbian potentiality into movement. They see lesbian potentiality in feminist prison documentaries that theorize the prison industrial complex’s racialized and gendered violence and give image to Black feminist love politics and freedom dreaming. Lesbian potentiality also circulates through the alternative spaces created by feminist science fiction and fantasy fanzines like The Witch and the Chameleon and Janus. It was here that author James Tiptree, Jr./Alice B. Sheldon felt free to do gender differently and inspired many others to do so in turn. Throughout, Samer embraces the perpetual reimagination of “lesbian” and the lesbian’s former futures for the sake of continued, radical world-building.