3501 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, CA 90089

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Queer labor history and the interrupting family

A talk with Sam Solomon, University of Susses, UK


This talk brings together two different stories about late twentieth century typesetting and print labor between roughly 1965 and 1995, a period during which typesetting was first computerized and then all but abandoned as part of the pre-print process. On the one hand, I read fiction and poetry by Leslie Feinberg and Karen Brodine, showing how these queer socialists draw out dynamic relations between gender, sexuality, and literary labor in multiple phases, addressing the physical production of printed material; writing, circulation and reading; and finally typesetting as part of an integrated print ecology. On the other hand, I track how my grandfather and then father’s small business took off, providing print and design services for trade unions, left and civil liberties organizations, and small literary ventures. The talk is an experiment in juxtaposing the different narrative, poetic, and personal forms through which these histories are conveyed, to see how their gaps and overlaps can further illuminate the sexual and class politics of literary labor.



Dr Sam Solomon lives in Brighton, UK, where he teaches English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Sussex and co-directs the Centre for the Study of Sexual Dissidence. [He is the author of Special Subcommittee (Commune Editions, 2017) and Lyric Pedagogy and Marxist-Feminism: Social Reproduction and the Institutions of Poetry (Bloomsbury, 2019), and he is co-translator from the Yiddish of The Acrobat: Selected Poems of Celia Dropkin (Tebot Bach, 2014).]

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