Lesbian at the vanguard

a tribute to Anna Livia (1955–2007)

Authors

  • Rusty Barrett University of Kentucky
  • Robin Queen University of Michigan

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/genl.21529

Keywords:

Lesbian at the vanguard, vanguard, Anna Livia , tribute

Abstract

This tribute considers the work of linguist and novelist, Anna Livia (1955–2007). Anna was a noted fiction writer before becoming a linguist and much of her work considered language play in literature. Anna brought her experience as a lesbian activist to queer linguistics, where she played an important role in establishing the field. Her work continues to be an important example of linguistic research on lesbians, an area that continues to be underrepresented in the field.

Author Biographies

Rusty Barrett, University of Kentucky

Rusty Barrett is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Kentucky. He is author of From Drag Queens to Leathermen: Language and Gender in Gay Male Subcultures (Oxford University Press, 2017). He is coeditor for The Oxford Handbook of Language and Sexuality (with Kira Hall, Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

Robin Queen, University of Michigan

Robin Queen is a sociolinguist at the University of Michigan. She finds her academic joy around issues of language contact, language ideology and language and identities. She was one of the first scholars (along with Anna Livia!) to explore linguistic variation and lesbian identities. She has done a range of work focusing on language in the mass media, including in Vox Popular: The Surprising Life of Language in the Mass Media (Wiley Blackwell, 2015).

References

Barrett, Rusty (1997) The ‘homo-genius’ speech community. In Anna Livia and Kira Hall (eds), Queerly Phrased: Language, Gender, and Sexuality 181–201. New York: Oxford University Press.

Bucholtz, Mary (1999) Review of Queerly Phrased: Language, Gender, and Sexuality. American Anthropologist 101(4): 855. https://doi.org/10.1525/aa.1999.101.4.855 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/aa.1999.101.4.855

Hall, Kira and Bucholtz, Mary (eds) (1995) Gender Articulated: Language and the Socially Constructed Self. New York: Routledge.

Hall, Kira, Bucholtz, Mary and Moonwomon, Birch (eds) (1992) Locating Power: Proceedings of the Second Berkeley Women and Language Conference. Berkeley: Berkeley Women and Language Group.

Jones, Lucy (2018) Lesbian identity construction. In Kira Hall and Rusty Barrett (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Language and Sexuality. Oxford Handbooks Online. https://doi.org/110.1093/oxfordhb/9780190212926.013.28 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190212926.013.28

Livia, Anna (1982) Relatively Norma. London: Onlywomen Press.

Livia, Anna (1991) Minimax. Portland, OR: The Eighth Mountain Press.

Livia, Anna (1995) ‘I ought to throw a Buick at you’: fictional representations of butch/femme speech. In Kira Hall and Mary Bucholtz (eds) Gender Articulated: Language and the Socially Constructed Self 245–278. New York: Routledge.

Livia, Anna (1999a) ‘She sired sex children’: feminist experiments with linguistic gender. In Mary Bucholtz, A. C. Liang and Laurel A. Sutton (eds) Reinventing Identities: The Gendered Self in Discourse 332–347. New York: Oxford University Press.

Livia, Anna (1999b) Doing sociolinguistic research on the French Minitel. American Behavioral Scientist 43(3): 422–435. https://doi.org/10.1177/00027649921955353 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/00027649921955353

Livia, Anna (2000) Memories in flesh and marble. Journal of Lesbian Studies 4(4): 87–96. https://doi.org/10.1300/J155v04n04_08 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1300/J155v04n04_08

Livia, Anna (2001) Pronoun Envy: Literary Uses of Linguistic Gender. New York: Oxford University Press.

Livia, Anna (2002) Public and clandestine: gay men’s pseudonyms on the French Minitel. Sexualities 5(2): 201–217. https://doi.org/10.1177/1363460702005002004 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1363460702005002004

Livia, Anna (2003) ‘One man in two is a woman’: linguistic approaches to gender in literary texts. In Janet Holmes and Miriam Meyerhoff (eds) The Handbook of Language and Gender 142–158. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Blackwell. https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470756942.ch6 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470756942.ch6

Livia, Anna and Hall, Kira (eds) (1997a) Queerly Phrased: Language, Gender, and Sexuality. New York: Oxford University Press.

Livia, Anna and Hall, Kira (1997b) ‘It’s a girl!’: bringing performativity back to linguistics. In Anna Livia and Kira Hall (eds) Queerly Phrased: Language, Gender, and Sexuality 3–18. New York: Oxford University Press.

Queen, Robin (1997) ‘I don’t speak Spritch’: locating lesbian language. In Anna Livia and Kira Hall (eds), Queerly Phrased: Language, Gender and Sexuality 233–256. New York: Oxford University Press.

Wakeford, Nina (2007) Anna Livia. The Guardian, 26 September.

Zimman, Lal (2020) Transgender language, transgender moment: toward a trans linguistics. In Kira Hall and Rusty Barrett (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Language and Sexuality. Oxford Handbooks Online. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190212926.013.4 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190212926.013.45

Zimman, Lal (2021) Beyond the cis gays’ cis gaze: the need for a trans linguistics. Gender and Language 15(3): 423–429. https://doi.org/10.1558/genl.20883 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1558/genl.20883

Published

2021-12-23

How to Cite

Barrett, R. ., & Queen, R. . (2021). Lesbian at the vanguard: a tribute to Anna Livia (1955–2007). Gender and Language, 15(4), 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1558/genl.21529

Issue

Section

Theme Series