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Duberman, Martin Bauml (b. 1930)  
 
page: 1  2  

Playwright and Biographer

In addition to scholarly works, Duberman has also authored a dozen plays and a historical novel, Haymarket (2003). Seven of Duberman's plays that explore gender issues are collected in Male Armor (1975). In these pieces he examines the construct of male identity as a skin men use to shield themselves from their own sexual and emotional energies.

For example, "Payments" (1971), inspired by the hustler culture that Duberman patronized when he was deeply closeted, explores the psychology of a masculine man who self-identifies as straight while catering sexually to male clients. "Elagabalus" (1973) is a multi-generational portrayal of individuals whose obsessions become a medium through which to enact rituals of power, corruption, and rebellion.

Sponsor Message.

Duberman's biography of Paul Robeson (1989), the African-American singer, actor, and civil rights activist, reflects the author's various interests in theater, African-American history, radical politics, and liberation movements.

Gay Academic

Duberman founded City University of New York's Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS) in 1991. This program, one of the first such centers at a prominent university, helped make gay and lesbian studies academically respectable, as did his own research and publication in the field, which includes not only scholarly accounts of gay history but also first-person accounts of his own participation in the movement for equality. CLAGS continues as a leader in the gay and lesbian studies movement, sponsoring conferences and awarding research grants, as well as focusing glbtq studies at CUNY.

Hidden from History: Reclaiming the Gay and Lesbian Past (1989), co-edited with Martha Vicinus and George Chauncey, Jr., one of several anthologies on gay history that Duberman edited or co-edited, presents scholarly essays by a large number of scholars, including Duberman himself, on same-sex sexual relationships throughout history. It is not only a standard reference in the field, but one of the seminal texts that helped define the field of gay history, negotiating a space somewhere between essentialist and social constructionist theories of homosexuality.

In About Time: Exploring the Gay Past (1986, 1991), a collection of his own essays, some of which were published in the New York Native, Duberman excerpts and analyzes archival source materials. In these essays, he frequently illustrates how the gay and lesbian past has been obfuscated by policies of libraries and other archives.

Stonewall (1994), Duberman's account of a pivotal moment in the gay liberation movement, weaves six personal narratives into a social history of the events leading up to the Stonewall riots, as the movement metamorphosed into the gay liberation movement. The book was the basis for the 1995 film of the same name directed by Nigel Finch, though Duberman has objected to what he considers the film's exaggeration of the role of drag queens in the riots.

Midlife Queer: Autobiography of a Decade (1996) is a memoir that takes a topical approach to gay movement politics and scholarship between 1971 and 1981. Left Out: The Politics of Exclusion (1999) compiles Duberman's essays on gender politics, campus radicalism, civil rights, and anti-war activism.

Duberman also serves as general editor of two Chelsea House series directed at young people, one consisting of biographies of notable gay men and lesbians and the other focused on Issues in Lesbian and Gay Life. In addition, he is a frequent contributor of reviews and commentary to major periodicals.

Informing all of Duberman's work is a grasp of the power of narrative in shaping perceptions of social movements and their relevance to individual lives. Given his personal story of growth from internalized homophobia to gay activism, this emphasis is altogether appropriate.

Ruth M. Pettis

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    Bibliography
   

Duberman, Martin. About Time: Exploring the Gay Past. New York: Meridian, 1991.

_____. Black Mountain: An Exploration in Community. New York: Dutton, 1972.

_____. Cures: A Gay Man's Odyssey. Tenth Anniversary Edition. Boulder: Westview Press, 2002.

_____. In White America: A Documentary Play. New York: New American Library, 1965.

_____. Left Out: The Politics of Exclusion--Essays, 1964-1999. New York: Basic Books, 1999.

_____. Male Armor: Selected Plays, 1968-1974. New York: Dutton, 1975.

_____. Midlife Queer: Autobiography of a Decade, 1971-1981. New York: Scribner, 1996.

_____. Stonewall. New York: Plume, 1994.

_____, Martha Vicinus, and George Chauncey, Jr., eds. Hidden from History: Reclaiming the gay and lesbian past. New York: New American Library, 1989.

Eagan, Joseph M. "Martin Duberman." Gay & Lesbian Biography. Michael J. Tyrkus, ed. Detroit: St. James Press, 1997. 157-58.

Hartl, John. "'Stonewall' Controversy Comes to Film." Seattle Times (September 1, 1996): M4.

Lighty, Michael. "An Interview with Martin Duberman." Democratic Left 27.4 (January 1, 2000):  21.

Markus, Thomas B. "Duberman, Martin (Bauml)." Contemporary Dramatists. 6th ed. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999. 204-06.

Wentink, A.M. "Duberman, Martin Bauml." Who's Who in Contemporary Gay and Lesbian History: From World War II to the Present Day. Robert Aldrich and Garry Wotherspoon, eds. New York: Routledge, 2001. 116.

 

    Citation Information
         
    Author: Pettis, Ruth M.  
    Entry Title: Duberman, Martin Bauml  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
 
    Publication Date: 2006  
    Date Last Updated November 27, 2006  
    Web Address www.glbtq.com/social-sciences/duberman_mb_ssh.html  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
 
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2006 glbtq, Inc.  
 

 

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