Inside the Academy and Out: Lesbian/Gay/Queer Studies and Social Action


365 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-8020-7848-6
DDC 305.9'0664'07




Edited by Janice L. Ristock and Catherine G. Taylor
Reviewed by Sara Stratton

Sara Stratton, who holds a Ph.D. in American history from York
University, teaches at Open College and is a member of the
research/program staff at the Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada.


This dense book assumes that there is a dynamic and mutual exchange of
ideas and energy between gay and lesbian academics and queer liberation
activists. The editors stress their lack of interest in the “town vs.
gown” polemic, and indeed there is little evidence of such a divide
among these authors. But neither is there evidence of a union—to a
person, they are “practicing academics,” not activists engaged in
“on the streets” justice work.

The book is divided into two sections: one on pedagogical theory and
another on activist practice. The essays on activism range from an
analysis of lesbians and family caregiving, through various aspects of
AIDS organizing, to a race and gender analysis of the film Philadelphia.
They are clearly academic works with a hefty theoretical bias.

Inside the Academy and Out will be of enormous value to those who are
interested in theory for theory’s sake, but less than helpful to what
this reader assumes to be one of its target audiences—the activists


“Inside the Academy and Out: Lesbian/Gay/Queer Studies and Social Action,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 20, 2024,