Ramzi Fawaz's Queer Forms is a dazzling study of (primarily) late twentieth-century queer and feminist cultural production. In this book—his second, after The New Mutants: Superheroes and the Radical Imagination of American Comics (2016)—Fawaz develops a theory of “queer forms” and a creative/interpretative practice he terms queer formalism. He uses the former to describe an archive of gay liberationist and feminist cultural production from the 1970s on, and the latter for both the practice of crafting queer forms and a method to identify and interpret them.

For Fawaz, artists and activists in the 1970s “offered up queer and feminist forms as provisional shapes, or constructs, for picturing queerness” (35). “A queer form,” he writes, “is any material shape, construct, or pattern that is articulated to, or comes to be inhabited by, some aspect of gender and sexual nonconformity or divergence” (36). In each of the chapters of the book,...

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