Although gay, lesbian, and queer theory are related practices, the three terms delineate separate emphases marked by different assumptions about the relationship between gender and sexuality.
The Harlem Renaissance, an African-American literary movement of the 1920s and 1930s, included several important gay and lesbian writers.
Oscar Wilde is important both as an accomplished writer and as a symbolic figure who exemplified a way of being homosexual at a pivotal moment in the emergence of gay consciousness.
Langston Hughes, whose literary legacy is enormous and varied, was closeted, but homosexuality was an important influence on his literary imagination, and many of his poems may be read as gay texts.
Conflicted over his own sexuality, Tennessee Williams wrote directly about homosexuality only in his short stories, his poetry, and his late plays.
Erotic and pornographic works have been written in many cultures since ancient times and recently have flourished with the relaxation of censorship.
Feminist literary theory is a complex, dynamic area of study that draws from a wide range of critical theories.
James Baldwin, a pioneering figure in twentieth-century literature, wrote sustained and articulate challenges to American racism and mandatory heterosexuality.
Congratulations to acclaimed artist Ellsworth Kelly and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner on being awarded 2012 National Medals of the Arts. President Obama will present Kelly, Kushner, and other awardees of the National of the Arts and the National Humanities Medal their awards at a reception in the White House on July 10, 2013.
The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities were established by the Congress in 1965 as independent agencies of the federal government. To date, the NEA and the NEH funds a variety of artistic and scholarly projects and works with diverse audiences and agencies throughout the country. The National Medals for the Arts and Humanities are chosen by a panel of distinguished scholars and artists.
The citations for Kelly and Kushner read as follows.
Ellsworth Kelly is awarded a National Medal for the Arts for his contributions as a painter, sculptor, and printmaker. A careful observer of form, color, and the natural world, Mr. Kelly has shaped more than half a century of abstraction and remains a vital influence in American art.
Tony Kushner is awarded a National Medal for the Arts for his contributions to American theater and film. Whether for the stage or the silver screen, his scripts have moved audiences worldwide, marrying humor to fury, history to fantasy, and the philosophical to the personal.
Among other recipients of the National Medal for the Arts to be honored on July 10, 2013 are the following: musician Herb Alpert; philanthropist and educator Lin Arison; dancer and choreographer Joan Myers Brown; opera diva Renée Fleming; novelist Ernest Gaines; filmmaker George Lucas; comedian Elaine May; architect Laurie Olin; and Jazz musician Allen Toussaint.
In the video below Kelly speaks with curators Stephanie Barron and Britt Salvesen about an exhibition of his work at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2012.
In the following video, from December 2012, Kushner talks about the continuing relevance of theater.