Return to Bibliography
Valentine, Gill. “Introduction:
From Nowhere to Everywhere: Lesbian Geographies.” Journal of Lesbian
Studies. vol. 4, no. 1, 2000. 1-9. Co-published simultaneously in From
Nowhere to Everywhere: Lesbian Geographies. Ed. Gill Valentine. Binghamton,
NY: Harrington Park Press, 2000. 1-9.
From the outset, Valentine posits that “lesbian identities and lifestyles are increasingly being publicly articulated...and that lesbians are more openly challenging the taken-for-granted production [and performance] of everyday environments as heterosexual spaces” (2). This assertion of increased articulation and visibility provide the framework for the essays following Valentine’s introduction, and furthermore, make clear Valentine’s interest in urging “critical geographers to chart lesbian geographies and to raise the profile of lesbian geographers” as a means to broadening and diversifying the field of Geography (8).
As an introduction to the whole issue of Journal of Lesbian Studies (JLS) in which it appears, this essay begins with a literature review of previous scholarship similarly regarding “geographies of desire” related to gay male and lesbian spaces (2). Some of the texts Valentine discusses in this review include Manuel Castle’s work on gay male domination (over lesbians) of queer spaces, critiques of Castle’s work, her own work with David Bell on lesbian rural cultures, and Judith Butler’s work on performativity. She then moves on to give several examples of the way in which lesbians produce (albeit most often only temporarily) lesbian spaces, resisting hegemonic heterosexual performances. Next, Valentine gives a brief overview of each of the six remaining essays on lesbian geographies contained in this issue of JLS, highlighting their focus, respectively, in “home” (Elwood), “community” (Lo & Healy, Wincapaw), anti-violence activism (Grant), “personal geographies” (Valentine), and in/visibility (MacDowell). For those who are interested in lesbian landscapes, this essay provides a brief and useful overview of some key issues and texts. More importantly, Valentine’s references (which includes seven of her own works) provide a rich bibliographic resource of general titles regarding lesbian geographies. [J. Sapinoso]