Turning the Page: Image and Identity in US Lesbian Magazines


Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowships in American Art


Art and Art History


“Turning the Page” is the first scholarly consideration of the visual culture in lesbian magazines in the United States. The photographs, drawings, paintings, posters, prints, diagrams, and cartoons by leading lesbian artists, both contemporary and historical, helped create and define lesbian existence in social, political, racial, and sexual dimensions during the second half of the twentieth century. This dissertation argues that these magazines supported and encouraged collaboration and creative expression and functioned as exhibition spaces for lesbian art and artists. As women, these artists put pressure on social constructions of gender and, as homosexuals, these artists questioned the normativity of heterosexuality. Thus, analyzing the content of these mostly overlooked periodicals offers access to a broader history of lesbian culture. Furthermore, examining the artists and artwork in these magazines expands the conversation on feminist and queer art.