The B Word

The B Word : Bisexuality in Contemporary Film and Television

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Often disguised in public discourse by terms like "gay," "homoerotic," "homosocial," or "queer," bisexuality is strangely absent from queer studies and virtually untreated in film and media criticism. Maria San Filippo aims to explore the central role bisexuality plays in contemporary screen culture, establishing its importance in representation, marketing, and spectatorship. By examining a variety of media genres including art cinema, sexploitation cinema and vampire films, "bromances," and series television, San Filippo discovers "missed moments" where bisexual readings of these texts reveal a more malleable notion of subjectivity and eroticism. San Filippo's work moves beyond the subject of heteronormativity and responds to "compulsory monosexuality," where it's not necessarily a couple's gender that is at issue, but rather that an individual chooses one or the other. The B Word transcends dominant relational formation (gay, straight, or otherwise) and brings a discursive voice to the field of queer and film studies.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 294 pages
  • 158 x 232 x 22mm | 559.99g
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 26 b&w screen grabs
  • 0253008794
  • 9780253008794

Table of contents

Prologue: Chasing Amy and Bisexual (In)visibility
Introduction: Binary Trouble and Compulsory Monosexuality
1. Unthinking Monosexuality: Bisexual Representability in Art Cinema
2. Power Play/s: Bisexuality as Privilege and Pathology in Sexploitation Cinema
3. Of Cowboys and Cocksmen: Bisexuality and the Contemporary Hollywood Bromance
4. Bisexuality on the Boob Tube
Conclusion: Queer/ing Bisexuality
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Review quote

This captivating new study by Maria San Filippo raises numerous persuasive questions about the perspectives that our culture has of bisexuality while it explores the ongoing and, typically, problematic efforts to portray it on screen. * Cinema Journal * ...[O]ne of the most compelling and thoughtful academic reads from the first half of 2013. * Slant Magazine * For anyone interested in the politics of bisexuality, The B Word should be on your reading list. * Journal of Bisexuality * Maria San Filippo turns her razor-sharp intellect on the representation of bisexuality in modern media, where it still remains somewhat unspoken, often overshadowed by the hard-won visibility of gays and lesbians. Placing bisexual desire center stage, San Filippo's book is a much-needed addition to the field of queer media studies. * Next Magazine * San Filippo is well-read in feminist and queer theory, and the book is sprinkled with ideas from those fields, which makes this most suitable for graduate-level reading. It can, however, serve as undergraduate coursework for students with a solid background in those subjects. . . . Highly recommended. * Choice * ...[A] comprehensive, no-holds-barred examination of the portrayal and impact of bisexuality in modern entertainment...Power, privilege, exploitation, the dominance of monosexuality-no permutation goes unexplored, no bisexual presence goes unmentioned...It's a passionate, knowledgeable, educational study, drawing from old and new sources alike. * Publishers Weekly * [San Filippo's] study is full of fresh insights about a mostly neglected subject, and she makes good use of a wealth of cultural material. * Gay & Lesbian Review *
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About Maria San Filippo

Maria San Filippo has taught film and television studies, and gender and sexuality studies, at MIT, Harvard University, UCLA, and Wellesley College. Her work has appeared in the journals CineAction, Cineaste, English Language Notes, Film History, In Media Res, Journal of Bisexuality, Quarterly Review of Film and Video, and Senses of Cinema and the anthologies Global Art Cinema and Millennial Masculinity: Men in Contemporary American Cinema.
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Rating details

13 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 23% (3)
4 54% (7)
3 23% (3)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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