vol 27 - 2001

"Have we fallen into a mesmerized state that makes us accept as inevitable that which is inferior or detrimental, as though having lost the will or the vision to demand that which is good?"
      —Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, 1962

As we write this preface, the landscape of New York has changed in the wake of the terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center, and America gears up for war with enemies both inside and outside the country. A few voices protest the logic of fighting an unseen enemy and warn of the senseless waste of more innocent lives; but we fear that these voices will remain, as Michael B. Smith in this issue argues that Rachel Carson's did, marginal, marked by the dominant voices as crazy, emotional, and unpatriotic. The articles in this issue of Feminist Studies all address, in one form or another, the extraordinary power of mainstream institutions to appropriate, distort, or silence dissent, whether that dissent be in the form of the butch lesbian, the murderous wife, or the environmentalist. But the voices we publish here also explore the loud and diverse history of feminism and other modes of resistance, discussing what they reveal about feminist ethics and feminist citizenship, a discussion that becomes more urgent as each day passes. The articles in this issue demonstrate that in spite of the power of representations to render certain bodies and ideas visible or invisible, those bodies and those ideas—their "will" and their "vision," as Rachel Carson puts it—will continue to trouble mainstream institutions, even when those institutions seem to be at their strongest and most united.

We begin with Stacy Braukman's article, "'Nothing Else Matters but Sex': Cold War Narratives of Deviance and the Search for Lesbian Teachers in Florida, 1959-1963," in which she examines the activities of the Florida Legislative Investigation Committee, created in 1956 by state senator Charley Johns to investigate subversives throughout the state. Braukman concentrates on the late 1950s and early 1960s, years when the committee focused its attention on homosexuals in Florida's public education system. The committee questioned dozens of teachers and students, removing some from their schools and colleges and pressuring many others to resign their positions. Using original transcripts of hundreds of interviews, Braukman looks specifically at the committee's campaign against lesbians, arguing that the committee saw lesbians, as they did male homosexuals, as sexual predators who were bent on recruiting young people to their way of life. Lesbians were thus implicitly aligned with communists and other subversives as security risks and as infiltrators.


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Stacy Braukman
"Nothing Else Matters but Sex": Cold War Narratives of Deviance and the Search for Lesbian Teachers in Florida, 1959-1963

Jennifer MacKenzie
Odalisques (Poetry)

Ann M. Ciasullo
Making Her (In)Visible: Cultural Representations of Lesbianism and the Lesbian Body in the 1990s

Jennifer MacKenzie
A Pause for Nancy (Poetry)

Lynn M. Voskuil
Acts of Madness:
Lady Audley and the Meanings of Victorian Femininity

Shelley Kiernan
Red Beans; Leavings (Poetry)

Eluned Summers-Bremner
Waving, not Drowning: Personal Narratives, Feminist Pedagogy, and the Gesture in Psychoanalysis

Shelley Kiernan
Burial; To My Widow (Poetry)

Susan Lurie, Ann Cvetkovich, Jane Gallop,
Tania Modleski, Hortense Spillers
Restoring Feminist Politics to Poststructuralist Critique (Roundtable; Introduction by Carla Kaplan)

Parama Roy
At Home in the World? The Gendered Cartographies of Globality (Review Essay)

Zephyr Teachout
Received Forms (Poetry)

Michael B. Smith
"Silence, Miss Carson!" Science, Gender,
and the Reception of
Silent Spring

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