At the start of the twentieth century, tales of "how the other half lives" experienced a surge in popularity. People looking to go slumming without leaving home turned to these narratives for spectacular revelations of the underworld and sordid details about the deviants who populated it. In this major rethinking of American literature and culture, Scott Herring explores how a key group of authors manipulated this genre to paradoxically evade the confines of sexual identification. "Queering the Underworld" examines a range of writers, from Jane Addams and Willa Cather to Carl Van Vechten and Djuna Barnes, revealing how they fulfilled the conventions of slumming literature but undermined its goals and in the process queered the genre itself. Their work frustrated the reader's desire for sexual knowledge, restored the inscrutability of sexual identity, and cast doubt on the value of a homosexual subculture made visible and therefore subject to official control.
Herring is persuasive and polemical in connecting these writers to ongoing debates about lesbian and gay history and politics, and "Queering the Underworld" will be widely read by students and scholars of literature, history, and sexuality.
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press ISBN: 9780226327907 Number of pages: 272 Weight: 514 g Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 20 mm
Simply reserve online and pay at the counter when you collect.
Available in shop from just two hours, subject to availability.
Thank you for your reservation
Your order is now being processed and we have sent a confirmation email to you at
This item can be requested from the shops shown below. If this item isn't available to be reserved nearby, add the item to your basket instead and select 'Deliver to my local shop' at the checkout, to be able to collect it from there at a later date.
When will my order be ready to collect?
Following the initial email, you will be contacted by the shop to confirm that your item is available for collection.
Call us on or send us an email at
Unfortunately there has been a problem with your order
Please try again or alternatively you can contact your chosen shop on or send us an email at