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Book Launch: Work! A Queer History of Modeling

  • Glad Day 499 Church Street Toronto, ON, M4Y 2C6 Canada (map)

“Work! traces the queer history of modeling from the rise of photographic modeling in the early 20th century to the rise of the supermodel in the early 1980s. The book charts how models have been central to the creation of a new type of sexuality in 20th century America: a commercialized form of sanitized sexuality, managed for public consumption. The book shows how the modeling industry has been shaped by queer sensibilities since its origins, and how black models-- in their very insistence on black glamour—have challenged whitestream hegemony. Work! shows how the modeling industry always has been the site of a queer structure of feeling, but one that has also always been tied to the market. In this way, Work! queers the history of capitalism.

Join author and historian Elspeth H. Brown in celebration of the launch of "Work! A Queer History of Modeling" at the world's oldest surviving LGBTQ bookstore.

Elspeth H. Brown is Professor of History at the University of Toronto. Her research concerns queer and trans history; the history and theory of photography; the history of US capitalism; and oral history. She is the author of Work! A Queer History of Modeling (Duke, 2019), among other volumes. She directs the LGBTQ Oral History Digital Collaboratory, a five-year digital history and oral history public, digital humanities collaboration. She is an active volunteer and Vice President of the Board for The ArQuives: Canada’s LGBTQ2+ Archives.

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