All Academic, Inc. Research Logo

Info/CitationFAQResearchAll Academic Inc.
Document

Queering the borders: Lorraine Hansberrys 1957 Letters to The Ladder
Unformatted Document Text:  Queering the Borders: Hansberry’s Letters to The Ladder, 13 the future as to the past. A letter is also an elicitation, an invitation for response. It anticipates, expects, and even demands a response. When Hansberry wrote to the Ladder it was both a call as well as a response, a “here I am,” to other lesbians. Thus her letters both acknowledge and construct a relationship between hidden writers and hidden readers who made up the secret subaltern public of the lesbian nation. In the May letter, Hansberry’s tone is exceptionally informal and personal including such idiomatic expressions as: “I’m glad as heck that you exist;” “Would it be presumptuous or far-fetched to suggest?” and “Just a little afterthought.” 40 Hansberry begins the letter with a request for as many back issues of the journal that $2.00 would cover, adding a promise for future “sizeable (for me, that is) donations” and then moves into four what she calls “off-the-top-of-the-head reactions” which include (1) a brief exposition on the importance of separate publication venues for lesbians, (2) a longer disquisition in support of the DOB declaration of purpose that advocates modes of “acceptable” behaviour and dress (3) two sentences applauding the journal, and (4) a suggestion for overseas communication. Hansberry ends her letter with an elicitation for thoughts on the comparative dearth of GL organizations on the East Coast: “Would like to hear speculation, light-hearted or otherwise.” Hansberry’s tone conveys warmth and a personal connection to her interlocutors. Here, in contrast to her other published letters, Hansberry projects a kind of comfort and familiarity with her readers, as if, perhaps, she were writing to friends. I will first briefly describe the overarching features of this letter in relation to other Hansberry texts and then look more closely at its central argument. Despite its somewhat breezy and informal tone, the first two points of the letter resonate with Hansberry’s elsewhere articulated political vision. Before developing her argument for why women need “their own publications and organizations.” Hansberry begins by first denying any intention to “foster strict separatist notions, homo or hetero.” This caveat comports both with the kind of coalition politics Hansberry advocates in other writing as well as her critiques of racial separatism. As to the former, for Delano,” In Doing Rhetorical History: Concepts and Cases, ed. Kathleen J. Turner (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama, 1998), 208. 40 Lorraine Hansberry, “Readers Respond,” The Ladder, May 1957, 26-28.

Authors: Lipari, Lisbeth.
first   previous   Page 13 of 28   next   last



background image
Queering the Borders: Hansberry’s Letters to The Ladder, 13
the future as to the past. A letter is also an elicitation, an invitation for response. It anticipates, expects,
and even demands a response. When Hansberry wrote to the Ladder it was both a call as well as a
response, a “here I am,” to other lesbians. Thus her letters both acknowledge and construct a relationship
between hidden writers and hidden readers who made up the secret subaltern public of the lesbian nation.
In the May letter, Hansberry’s tone is exceptionally informal and personal including such
idiomatic expressions as: “I’m glad as heck that you exist;” “Would it be presumptuous or far-fetched to
suggest?” and “Just a little afterthought.”
40
Hansberry begins the letter with a request for as many back
issues of the journal that $2.00 would cover, adding a promise for future “sizeable (for me, that is)
donations” and then moves into four what she calls “off-the-top-of-the-head reactions” which include (1)
a brief exposition on the importance of separate publication venues for lesbians, (2) a longer disquisition
in support of the DOB declaration of purpose that advocates modes of “acceptable” behaviour and dress
(3) two sentences applauding the journal, and (4) a suggestion for overseas communication. Hansberry
ends her letter with an elicitation for thoughts on the comparative dearth of GL organizations on the East
Coast: “Would like to hear speculation, light-hearted or otherwise.” Hansberry’s tone conveys warmth
and a personal connection to her interlocutors. Here, in contrast to her other published letters, Hansberry
projects a kind of comfort and familiarity with her readers, as if, perhaps, she were writing to friends. I
will first briefly describe the overarching features of this letter in relation to other Hansberry texts and
then look more closely at its central argument.
Despite its somewhat breezy and informal tone, the first two points of the letter resonate with
Hansberry’s elsewhere articulated political vision. Before developing her argument for why women need
“their own publications and organizations.” Hansberry begins by first denying any intention to “foster
strict separatist notions, homo or hetero.” This caveat comports both with the kind of coalition politics
Hansberry advocates in other writing as well as her critiques of racial separatism. As to the former, for
Delano,” In Doing Rhetorical History: Concepts and Cases, ed. Kathleen J. Turner (Tuscaloosa: University of
Alabama, 1998), 208.
40
Lorraine Hansberry, “Readers Respond,” The Ladder, May 1957, 26-28.


Convention
Convention is an application service for managing large or small academic conferences, annual meetings, and other types of events!
Submission - Custom fields, multiple submission types, tracks, audio visual, multiple upload formats, automatic conversion to pdf.
Review - Peer Review, Bulk reviewer assignment, bulk emails, ranking, z-score statistics, and multiple worksheets!
Reports - Many standard and custom reports generated while you wait. Print programs with participant indexes, event grids, and more!
Scheduling - Flexible and convenient grid scheduling within rooms and buildings. Conflict checking and advanced filtering.
Communication - Bulk email tools to help your administrators send reminders and responses. Use form letters, a message center, and much more!
Management - Search tools, duplicate people management, editing tools, submission transfers, many tools to manage a variety of conference management headaches!
Click here for more information.

first   previous   Page 13 of 28   next   last

©2012 All Academic, Inc.