||This thesis discusses “queer spaces” presented in James Baldwin’s novel Giovanni’s Room (1956). Following Judith Halberstam’s concept of “queer time and queer space,” this thesis explores and exemplifies particular spaces within the novel and queerly re-reads them so as to achieve an alternative in understanding the protagonist, David, his troubled sexuality, dilemma and ambivalence toward his decisions in life. As most of the previous scholarly attention focuses on defining David as a bisexual character who couldn’t get settled down and involved in a long-term relationship, and even attributes his indecisiveness and the eventual tragedy of Giovanni’s death and Hella’s departure to his bisexuality, this thesis will try to shed a new light on the understanding of David and the tragic ending through his relationship with the spaces he gets involved in and other related spaces. These spaces will be read as queer spaces not only because some of them serve as places of queer constellations, but because they feature non-normative characteristics. When David situates himself in queer spaces, his innate fear of being assimilated to queerness is aroused as a result of the non-normativity that permeates those spaces, and once he gets out of these queer spaces, he would soon be reminded of his heterosexual obligations and again loathe the static life mode of heterosexuality. Through reading these spaces as queer spaces, it is hoped that their representations and potential shaping power on David can serve as an alternative in understanding David as a character instead of as a representation of sexual identity only, and at the same time complement what has been missing from the previous scholarly attention, and open up possible future discussions.|
Publications in English:
Adams, Stephen. “Giovanni’s Room: The Homosexual as Hero.” Modern Critical
Views: James Baldwin. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea, 1986. 131-39.
Baldwin, James. Giovanni’s Room. New York, NY: Dell Publishing, 1988, c1956.
Boellstorff, Tom. “When Marriage Falls: Queer Coincidences in Straight Time.”
GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, Vol.13, No. 2-3, 2007. 227-48.
Bone, Robert A. “James Baldwin.” James Baldwin: A Collection of Critical
Essays. Ed. Keneth Kinnamon. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1974. 28-40.
Chancy, Myriam J.A. “Brother/ Outsider: In Search of a Black Gay Legacy in
James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room.” The Gay’s 90s: Disciplinary and
Interdisciplinary Formations in Queer Studies. Ed. Thomas Forster, Carol
Siegel, and Ellen E. Berry. New York and London: New York UP, 1997.
Coviello, Peter. “World Enough: Sex and Time in Recent Queer Studies.” GLQ: Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, Vol.13, No. 2-3, 2007. 387-401.
DeGout, Yasmin Y. “Dividing the Mind: Contradictory Portraits of Homoerotic
Love in Giovanni's Room.” African American Review 26, No. 3 (Fall 1992):
Drowne, Kathleen N. “An Irrevocable Condition: Constructions of Home and the
Writing of Place in Giovanni’s Room.” Re-view James Baldwin: things not
seen. Ed. D. Quentin Miller. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2000.
Fiedler, Leslie A. “A Homosexual Dilemma.” Critical Essays on James Baldwin.
Ed. Fred L. Standley, and Nancy V. Burt. Boston, Mass: G.K. Hall, 1988.
Halberstam, Judith. In A Queer Time and Place. New York and London: New
York UP, 2005.
Henderson, Mae G. “James Baldwin's Giovanni’s Room: Expatriation, ‘Racial
Drag,’ and Homosexual Panic.” Black Queer Studies : A Critical Anthology.
Ed. E. Patrick Johnson and Mae G. Henderson. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2005.
Holland, Sharon Patricia. “(Pro) Creating Imaginative Spaces and Other QueerActs:
Randall Kenan’s A Visitation of Spirits and Its Revival of James Baldwin’s Absent Black Gay Man in Giovanni’s Room.” Raising the Dead: Readings of Death and (Black) Subjectivity. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2000.
Shin, Andrew and Judson Barbara. “Beneath the Black Aesthetic: James Baldwin’s
Primer of Black American Masculinity.” African American Review 32, No. 2, 1998: 425-35.
Turner, William, B. A Genealogy of Queer Theory. Philadelphia: Temple UP,
Zaborowska, Magdalena J. “From Baldwin’s Paris to Benjamin’s: The
architectonics of race and sexuality in Giovanni’s Room.” Walter Benjamin
and Architecture. Ed. Gevork Hartoonian. London ; New York : Routledge, 2010, 51-73.
Publications in Chinese: