Between Camp and Cursi
Humor and Homosexuality in Contemporary Mexican Narrative
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Between Camp and Cursi examines the role of humor in portrayals of homosexuality in contemporary Mexican literature. Brandon P. Bisbey argues that humor based on camp and cursilería—a form of "bad taste" that expresses a sense of social marginalization—is used to represent key social conflicts and contradictions of modernity in Mexico. Combining perspectives from queer theory, humor theory, and Latin American cultural studies, Bisbey looks at a corpus of canonical and lesser-known texts that treat a range of topics relevant to contemporary discussions of gender, sexuality, race, and human rights in Mexico—including sex work, transvestitism, bisexuality, same-sex marriage, racism, classism, and homophobic and transphobic violence. Emphasizing the subversive possibilities of the comic, Between Camp and Cursi considers how this body of twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature has challenged heteronormativity in Mexico and wrestled more broadly with both the colonial underpinnings of modernity and hegemonic Western gender norms.
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