Jonathan Ned Katz: Resumé
Updated March 20, 2020, 11:11 am ET
Jonathan Ned Katz is an independent scholar, historian, public intellectual, and activist who focuses on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and heterosexual U.S. history. He is also a visual artist. Katz's historical work has focused on same-sex and different-sex relationships, and changes in the social construction of sexuality over time. His works stress that the social organization of human sexual activity, desire, relationships, and sexual identities are historically specific, along with the categories with which we name, describe, define and understand human sexuality. In his work, language is studied as one important tool that human beings use to construct different, historically specific sexualities and sex/gender systems.
Katz is that rare bird, a pioneering, innovative historian whose books have helped to create the field of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history, and sexual and gender history, whose publications have received the highest scholarly accolades, who has taught a sexual history class and organized a historical exhibit at Yale, presented a keynote address at Harvard, and headed a faculty seminar at Princeton, but who lacks any college degrees.
In 2004 Katz returned to visual art, a talent of his childhood, teens and youth. In 2013 the first solo show of Jonathan Ned Katz's art opened at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, in New York, curated by the noted art historian Jonathan David Katz. (The two are not related.)
Forthcoming May 18, 2021
The Daring Life and Dangerous Times of Eve Adams (Chicago Review Press)
Eve Adams was a rebel. Born Chawa Zloczewer into a Jewish family in Poland, Adams emigrated to the United States in 1912. The young woman took a new name, befriended anarchists, sold radical publications, and ran lesbian-and-gay-friendly speakeasies in Chicago and New York.
Then, in 1925, Adams risked all to write and publish a book titled Lesbian Love. In a repressive era, long before today’s gay liberation movement, when American women had just gained the right to vote, Adams’s left activism and link to notorious anarchists caught the attention of the young J. Edgar Hoover and the US Bureau of Investigation, leading to her surveillance and arrest.
In a case that pitted immigration officials, the New York City police, and a biased informer against her, Adams was convicted of publishing an obscene book and of attempted sex with a policewoman sent to entrap her. Adams was jailed and then deported back to Europe, and ultimately murdered by Nazis in Auschwitz.
In The Daring Life and Dangerous Times of Eve Adams, historian Jonathan Ned Katz has recovered the extraordinary story of an early, daring activist. Drawing on startling evidence, carefully distinguishing fact from fiction, Katz presents the first biography of Adams, and the publisher reprints the long-lost text of Adams’s rare, unique book Lesbian Love.
“Jonathan Katz has rescued from oblivion one of Emma Goldman’s least-known associates, and in so doing treats contemporary readers to a colorful and original take on one of the most famous and infamous periods of American history. The book’s concentration on US persecution of homosexuals during this time is an eye-opener.” —Vivian Gornick, author of Emma Goldman and Unfinished Business
“Lost for almost a century, here is the incredible story of the first major defense of queer female lives and desires penned in the United States and its violent suppression by the American government, told by one of the most eminent queer historians. This book will be a landmark of queer history.” —-Laurie Marhoefer, author of Sex and the Weimar Republic and Jon Bridgman Endowed Professor of History, University of Washington
“Any new volume of LGBT history by Jonathan Ned Katz is cause for excitement. This time he invites us to accompany him on the trail of the elusive but riveting Eve Adams, a Jewish lesbian ‘agitator,’ author, and activist who began life in Poland, emigrated to the United States, was entrapped by the FBI, convicted of writing an obscene book titled Lesbian Love, and was deported back to Hitler-dominated Europe where she was murdered by the Nazis at Auschwitz. To read this book is to sit in the presence of a great private detective presenting his meticulously assembled case, clue by clue. He conjectures with imagination, but never loses sight of his carefully researched facts. The Daring Life and Dangerous Times of Eve Adams recounts the racy story of a racy storyteller, threatened by J. Edgar Hoover’s tortured homophobia on one continent, and the fatal Jew-hatred of the Nazis on another. Katz’s book inspires me as a Jew, a rabbi, a dyke, an activist, and an organizer. We experience Eve’s vitality through the vignettes of Lesbian Love, included in its entirety, but I was—and think most readers will be—most profoundly moved by Katz’s own voice, that of a mensch and a groundbreaking queer Jewish activist who all his life has pursued justice through the work of a historian. In The Daring Life and Dangerous Times of Eve Adams one gay Jew of passion and commitment tells the story of another. In so doing, Katz illuminates an exciting legacy of which any reader will want to be a part.” —-Senior Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, Congregation Beit Simchat Torah
“The Daring Life and Dangerous Times of Eve Adams is a detective story, a thriller, an exploration of queer history, a tragedy, and finally an act of loving recovery. The until-now lost story of Eve Adams is the story of the struggles, the persistence, and the triumphs of queer people in America, even in the face of death. Jonathan Ned Katz has carefully and splendidly uncovered not only the story of Adams, but of the complicated history of radical politics and resistance that have always been part of the queer movement. Brilliantly researched and deeply moving The Daring Life and Dangerous Times of Eve Adams is an extraordinary contribution to queer history.” —Michael Bronski, author of A Queer History of the United States
A compelling, engaging, and moving narrative. I found myself with tears in my eyes at the end, and filled with gratitude. Astonishing.
— Noam Sienna, Center for Early Modern History, University of Minnesota, author of A Rainbow Thread: An Anthology of Queer Jewish Texts from the First Century to 1969
“This is a truth-stranger-than-fiction narrative that is compelling, gripping and revelatory. Through imaginative research, Katz has uncovered the story of a Jewish immigrant who was both a political radical and an open lesbian a century ago. He has restored to history a life that we need to know about.”
—John D’Emilio, author of Queer Legacies: Stories from Chicago’s LGBTQ Archives
“On these pages, Eve Adams rises up, loves, rebels—her times, eerily resembling our own. I was in the audience of Katz’s first public gift to us, his documentary play Coming Out! Decades later, I am so grateful to be in his audience once again, and to welcome home Eve Adams.”
—Joan Nestle, co-founder of the Lesbian Herstory Archives and author of A Restricted Country
“Absolutely wonderful, so timely, so important! Eve Adams played a courageous pioneering role in Lesbian history, fighting US government officials’ homophobic, anti-radical, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, right-wing acts during the 1920s and 1930s that censored, attacked, and destroyed many lives.”
—Deborah Edel, cofounder of the Lesbian Herstory Archives
A compelling, engaging, and moving narrative. I found myself with tears in my eyes at the end, and filled with gratitude. Astonishing.
— Noam Sienna, Center for Early Modern History, University of Minnesota, author of A Rainbow Thread: An Anthology of Queer Jewish Texts from the First Century to 1969
“This amazing feat of research restores lesbian pioneer Eve Adams to her proper place in American LGBTQ history. It also makes her extremely rare 1925 book, Lesbian Love, available to the public for the first time since it was censored for obscenity and used as a pretext to have her deported. Katz shows us once again how much astonishing LGBTQ history remains out there to be explored and shared.”
—Hugh Ryan, author of When Brooklyn Was Queer
“An audacious lesbian pioneer, long hidden from both LGBT and Jewish history, Eve Adams finally gets her due in this wonderful book. Eve, a poor immigrant from Poland, became a lesbian bar owner, bon vivant, activist, and early chronicler of queer culture. Her life offers a window into radical working-class bohemians in New York and Chicago in the early 20th century. Her persecution reveals the ways social conservatives, anti-Semites, and anti-immigrant forces conspired to rid the country of “undesirables”—with tragic consequences. The Daring Life and Dangerous Times of Eve Adams offers powerful lessons for today”
—Arlene Stein, author of Unbound and Reluctant Witnesses
“Bohemian lesbians, radical activism, police entrapment—this first biography of Eve Adams offers an immigrant history unlike any other! Adams arrives in the US in 1912, adventures around the country with other “hoboettes,” sells leftie literature on the street, runs a queer tea shop in Greenwich Village, and writes a book about her women friends and lovers. The US Bureau of Investigation, led by a young J. Edgar Hoover, is having none of it. With the help of the police, agents concoct a deportation case against the young Polish Jew, even as Europe descends into fascist-led anti-semitism.”
--Elizabeth Heard, adjunct professor, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University.
“This book documents an important part of early 20th century LGBT American and European history. The research is extraordinary and Katz’s writing brings Eve Adams to life as she presides over her former Greenwich Village tearoom at 129 MacDougal Street. Adams was a brave, inspiring, and determined soul hounded out of the United States for being a lesbian, and she suffered the ultimate punishment for living her own true life.”
—Ken Lustbader, cofounder of NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project
“Once again, through indefatigable sleuthing informed by historical erudition and political sophistication, Jonathan Ned Katz has uncovered and reconstructed a lost LGBTQ life. And what a life! Anarchist, lesbian, Jew, writer, anthropologist, and freedom fighter Eve Adams lived her beliefs and her desires boldly and died the victim of small-mindedness and barbarity. A fascinating, groundbreaking book.”
—Judith Levine, journalist and author of The Feminist and the Sex Offender
“Praises for Jonathan Ned Katz, who keeps rescuing from oblivion fascinating 20th century LBGTQ pioneers, including the Lesbian bohemian Eve Adams. As a bonus we get to read her taboo-breaking book Lesbian Love.”
—Alix Kates Shulman, author of Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen and coeditor of Women’s Liberation!
Coming of Age in Greenwich Village: A Memoir with Paintings, published in conjunction with Katz's solo art show in February 2013. It is available at:
- Softcover: http://www.blurb.com/b/4053317-coming-of-age-in-greenwich-village
- Ebook for Ipad: http://store.blurb.com/ebooks/374801-coming-of-age-in-greenwich-village
Love Stories: Sex Between Men Before Homosexuality, published by the University of Chicago Press in 2001. It was co-winner of the John Boswell Prize awarded by the Committee on Lesbian and Gay History of the American Historical Association, in 2003.
The Invention of Heterosexuality was published by Dutton/Penguin in 1995 with a foreword by Gore Vidal and afterword by Lisa Duggan. It has been translated and published in Brazil, France, and Mexico, and reprinted by the University of Chicago Press in 2007. It was cited by U.S. Supreme Court in its majority opinion in Lawrence v. Texas, June 2003, the ruling that, in effect, found U.S. sodomy laws unconstitutional.
Gay/Lesbian Almanac: A New Documentary, first published by Harper & Row, in 1983, and reprinted by Carroll & Graf in 1994 was number 21 on the list of 100 Best Lesbian and Gay Nonfiction Books, a project of the Publishing Triangle, the association of lesbians and gay men in publishing.
Gay American History: Lesbians and Gay Men in the U.S.A. was first published by T.Y. Crowell in 1976, reprinted by Avon in a mass market paperback in 1977, by Harper & Row as a trade paperback in 1985, and by New American Library, in 1992.
It was number 3 on list of 100 Best Lesbian and Gay Nonfiction Books, a project of the Publishing Triangle, the association of lesbians and gay men in publishing. It was featured in the Whitney Museum’s “The American Century: Art and Culture - Part 2, 1950-2000” (curated by Lisa Phillips, 1999-2000), along with other books constituting cultural touchstones of the last half of the twentieth century. Gay American History is featured briefly as a plot device in "A Night at the Adonis", a gay male pornographic movie produced in 1978, in a scene in which a barely dressed hunk is seen reading the book.
On African American historyKatz published two books:
Resistance at Christiana: The Fugitive Slave Rebellion, Christiana, Pennsylvania, 1851, was published by T.Y. Crowell in 1974. A public exhibit about the Christiana resistance was held in New York City, in a Harlem library. Historian of the American slave system, David Brion Davis called Resistance at Christiana "extremely informative."
Black Woman: A Fictionalized Biography of Lucy Terry Prince, a biography for young people, was co-authored with Katz's father Bernard Katz, and published by Pantheon in 1973.
In 2007 and 2008, Katz initiated and directed the development of OutHistory.org, this website on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and heterosexual history, produced originally by the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, an institute at the City University of New York Graduate Center. The site's production was funded by a two-year grant from the Arcus Foundation and donations from individuals. The site officially launched on October 21, 2008. The Arcus Foundation provided a second two-year grant to support OutHistory's "Since Stonewall Local LGBT Histories Contest" Arcus funding officially ended January 1, 2011.
Starting in September 2011 OutHistory was co-produced by John D'Emilio, at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Starting in 2014 OutHistory was co-produced by Claire Bond Potter, at The New School Digital Humanities Program, New York City.
KATZ'S ORIGINAL RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS
FIRST PUBLISHED ON OutHistory.org:
Americans in Württemberg Scandal, 1888
Analyzing Allen Bernstein’s “MILLIONS OF QUEERS (Our Homo America)”
Edna Thomas ("Mary Jones"): "a tenderness I have never known," January 1937. Identifies the African American actress Edna Thomas as the 1937 case history of “Mary Jones, published by Dr. George Henry. For her time Thomas was amazingly positive about her lesbian experience. Evocative photos of Thomas are included.
Coming Out! A Documentary Play About Gay and Lesbian Life and Liberation, was presented by the Gay Activists Alliance in New York City in June 1972, and presented again in 1973 at an off-off Broadway theater. A version of the script was published by Arno Press-NY Times, in 1975, in a series edited by Katz. A discussion of Katz's play is contained in Theater of the Real by Carol Martin (Palgrave Macmillan, November 27, 2012), 34-38 (viewable at various online sites).
Comrades and Lovers, another theater piece, on the conflict between Walt Whitman and John Addington Symonds, was produced by Poets' Theater, Cambridge, Mass., in 1992; by Bailiwick Theater, Chicago, 1992; and by SAME, Atlanta, in 1991. Public readings were presented by the English Department, University of Kansas, Lawrence, 1991; by 3-Dollar Bill Theater, New York City, 1990, and by the Fund for Human Dignity, in New York City in 1989.
In addition to the original essays published on OutHistory, listed above, numbers of Katz's other essays are published or republished on OutHistory.org.
"'Millions of Queers': A View from 1940." Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide. Jan/Feb2015, Vol. 22 Issue 1, p23-26. Reprints Katz's analysis on OutHistory of Allen Bernstein's 1940 defense of homosexuality.
"Making Intimacy, Making History," keynote address, Harvard University, April 12, 2013, at a conference devoted to same-sex friendship in history.
"Coming of Age in Greenwich Village: A Memoir With Paintings," Huffington Post, February 15, 2013. The Huffington Post also included a biography of Katz.
"Coming to Terms: Conceptualizing Men's Erotic and Affectional Relations with Men in the U.S., 1820-1892, " presented at the Center for Lesbian & Gay Studies and published in The Queer World, edited by Martin B. Duberman, in 1997. The latter book also includes Katz’s essay "Introduction: 'Homosexual' and 'Heterosexual' History."
"Introduction: 'Homosexual' and 'Heterosexual' History," in The Queer World: The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader, edited by Martin B. Duberman, in 1997, pages 177-180.
"Sex Is In Our Heads, Not in Our Genes," Katz's op ed piece against biological determinist theories of sexual orientation, was published in New York Newsday, in April 1995, and is republished on OutHistory.org. One result of this essay was that Katz appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show, for about 58 seconds, on May 5, 1997. As a followup to Winfrey's interview with Ellen Degeneres and her then lover Anne Heche (April 30, 1997), Oprah Winfrey invited guests on her program to discuss the social and political implications of a fluid sexual orientation (as described by Heche). The first program had raised serious questions about the origins of sexual orientation, and the implications of causal factors.
“Introduction" to the reprint of Donn Teal’s The Gay Militants, published by St. Martin's Press, in 1995.
"The Age of Sodomitical Sin, 1607-1740," from his Gay/Lesbian Almanac, was reprinted in Reclaiming Sodom, edited by Jonathan Goldberg in 1994.
"The Political Economy of Pleasure: Toward a Theory of the Historical Organization of Erotic Activity, with Special Reference to Heterosexuality" was delivered at Harvard University, in 1990, at the 4th Annual Lesbian and Gay Studies Conference; at the American Historical Association, in 1990; at SUNY-Buffalo, in 1991; at the New York Institute for the Humanities, in 1991; at Penn State in 1992; at the University of New Hampshire in 1992; and at Carleton College, in 1994. This was substantially revised as Envisioning the World We Make and published on OutHistory on February 2, 2016.
"The Invention of Heterosexuality" was first published as an essay in Socialist Review, in Jan.-Mar. 1990; and reprinted many times. It is included in Privilege: a Reader, ed. by Michael S. Kimmel and Abby L. Ferber, 2003;Race, Class, and Gender in the United States: An Integrated Study, ed. by Paula S. Rothenberg, 2006. Partialy reprinted as "The invention of Heterosexuality: The Debut of the Heterosexual" in Sexualities & Communication in Everyday Life: A Reader, ed. by Karen E. Lovaas, Mercilee M. Jenkins, Thousand Oaks, Calif./London : SAGE, 2007.
“Were the '90s Gay?" was commissioned by American Heritage Magazine, and written and revised in 1990, but was never published in that periodical.
"Katz on History," includes columns on lesbian and gay history, published in The Advocate, 1988-1990. Some of these are republished on OutHistory.org. Katz's editor provided some of the titles.
"Splendor in the Leaves of Grass." [Recalls the life and experience of Gavin Arthur, grandson of the 21st president of the United States, and Arthur's sexual encounter with Edward Carpenter.] Advocate. 1/2/90, Issue 541, p. 40. 2p.
"We'wha Went To Washington." [On the Zuni Native American transgender person's visit to Washington D.C. in 1886 as a cultural emissary from the Zuni Indian nation, and host anthropologist Matilda Coxe Stevenson.] Advocate. 9/12/89, Issue 533, p. 40. 2p.
"Huntering Witches in Massachusetts, 1960." [How the story of an anti-gay and antipornography effort destroyed Newton Arvin and other gay male lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.] Advocate. 8/15/89, Issue 531, p. 44. 2p.
"The Stonewall Rebellion." [On the Stonewall Riot of 1969 as recounted in a contemporary letter by Edmund White to friends.] Advocate. 6/20/89, Issue 527, p. 39. 2p.
"The First Gay Revolutionary." [On Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, a "uranian" journalist who raised the issue of decriminalization of sex between men in 1865.] Advocate. 4/25/89, Issue 523, p. 47. 2p.
"A Tale of Resistance." [Recalls the achievements of Bayard Rustin, a gay rights pioneer in the U.S. and Rustin's exposure by Senator Strom Thurmond. ] Advocate. 3/28/89, Issue 521, p. 34. 2p.
"The President's Sister and the Bishop's Wife." [Documents a romantic relationship between Rose Cleveland, sister of former U.S. President Grover Cleveland, and Evangeline Marrs Simpson Whipple, wife of Minnesota Episcopal Bishop Henry Whipple.] Advocate. 1/31/89, Issue 517, p. 34. 2p.
"Miss Willson and Miss Brundage." [Focuses on a lesbian relationship in the U.S. in the early years of 19th century between primitive painteer Mary Ann Willson and her friend "Miss Brundage."] Advocate. 12/6/88, Issue 513, p. 45. 2p.
"Glimpses of Gay Arcadia." [Examines series of novels by Lucien Price with a homosexual emancipation theme, his view of American male homosexuality, and the rebirth of Greek homosexual love in the modern world.] Advocate, 11/8/88, Issue 511, p. 52. 2p.
"Sassy and Strong." [Profiles the late U.S. African American, lesbian activist Mabel Hampton; her early life; early realization regarding her sexual preference; her assessment of her life.] Advocate. 2/27/90, Issue 545, p. 46. 1 p.
"John Addington Symonds Pops the Question." [Relates the relationship between John Addington Symonds and Walt Whitman, touching on the decriminalization of sodomy.] Advocate. 1/30/90, Issue 543, p43. 1p.
"Of Vice and Men." [Homosexuality in the U.S. Navy, and the purity crusade initiated by chief machinist Ervin Arnold upon his arrival at the Newport Naval Training Station, R. I., in the early-20th-century.]Advocate. 12/5/89, Issue 539, p35. 1p. 1
"Signs of the Times." [Explores the history of gay liberation symbols; use of the lambda symbol; adoption of the pink triangle. ] Advocate. 10/10/89, Issue 535, p49. 1p. 1
"Up from Underground." [Tracks the early use of the term "gay" in American publications. Analyzes the historical development of the term, and origin of the word; presents early documented use of the term gay to mean homosexual.] Advocate. 5/23/89, Issue 525, p40.
"The Adventures of Roderick Random." [Discusses the book 'The Adventures of Roderick Random,' by Tobias Smollett in which a section focuses on the topic of homosexual relationships between men of the 18th century.] Advocate. 1/3/89, Issue 515, p54. 1p. 1
"Alexander Hamilton's Nose." [Discusses excerpts from the letters of Alexander Hamilton to John Laurens, written while both were aides to General Washington in the American Revolutionary Army; decodes erotic references in Hamilton's letters.] Advocate. 10/11/88, Issue 509, p29. 1p. 1
"Abe and Josh, Mary and Mercy." [Focuses on the romantic friendship of Abraham Lincoln and Joshua Speed and that of Mary Todd, Lincoln's fiancee, and Mercy Levering during the 19th century.] Advocate. 9/13/88, Issue 507, p47. 1p. 1
"Hidden Hitchings." Focuses on the ambivalent history of same-sex unions in the United States; same-sex marriage as a traditional value among Native Americans; considers marriage as an affirmative model for lesbians and gays. Village Voice. 1/9/96, Vol. 41 Issue 2, p. 26. 1p.
“The Time of Our Lives: Thoughts on Lesbian and Gay History," an essay, was included in the catalog of first photographic exhibit on New York City Lesbian and Gay History, produced by the Office of the Mayor, in June 1988.
"Melville's Secret Sex Text" (on the novel Redburn), The Village Voice Literary Supplement, in 1982. It is republished on OutHistory.
"Why Gay History?" a historiographical essay, was published in The Body Politic (Toronto), August 1979), 19-20. It was a revision of a talk that Katz presented earlier: "Homosexual History: It’s Import and Implications.” Keynote address, conference titled Constructing a History of Power and Sexuality, sponsored by New York University Graduate History Society and NYU Women’s Center, March 31, 1978.
“The Founding of the Mattachine Society: An Interview with Henry Hay,” an excerpt from Katz's Gay American History was republished as Radical America 11, no. 4 (1977).
Reviews, Interviews by Katz
Interview with Allan Berube appeared in The Advocate after Berube won a MacArthur "genius award". Citation forthcoming.
Review of Powers of Desire: The Politics of Sexuality, edited by Ann Snitow, Christine Stansell, and Sharon Thompson appeared in The Village Voice, in 1983.
Review of Mary Ryan’s Womanhood in America appeared in the Body Politic, 1977-78.
Review of Dennis Altman’s Homosexual Oppression and Liberation appeared in The Nation, on July 2, 1973, the first gay political book reviewed in that periodical.
Review of "AIDS: Humanistic Perspectives," held in New York City in 1988, sponsored by the New York Council for the Humanities.
"An Interview with Jose Louis Font" by Katz was published in Vision: A Journal of Film Comment (volume 1, number 2), Summer 1962.
Film reviews by Katz appeared in the Antioch College newspaper, Yellow Springs, Ohio, 1956 and/or 1957.
Journalism as a writer for and Features Editor of Overtones, the publication of the High School of Music and Art, was published between 1952-1956.
"Homosexuality: Lesbians and Gay Men in Society, History, and Literature" published by Arno Press-New York Times, in 1975. For his editing of that series, Katz was that year the recipient of the annual Gay Book Award, of the American Library Association Task Force on Gay Liberation.
Gay Men's Health Crisis Annual Report, 1986-87 and 1988-89; editing.
New Media and Public History
The Impact of CLAGS (the Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies) on Queer Studies & LGBTQ Communities, City University of New York Graduate Center, February 4, 2016. Panel presentation.
"OutHistory.org: Creating a website on LGBTQ History," presented at Archives, Libraries, Museums, and Special Collections (ALMS) Conference, in 2008.
"Making Our History: 30 Years of Work and Questions," was presented at the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center Inaugural Conference, in 2006, in Kingston, NY. A version of the same talk, "Making Sexual History: A Quarter Century of Work and Questions," was presented at Dartmouth College in 2004.
Curator, With Allan Bérubé, of the U.S. section of an exhibit on the international history of the gay movement, presented at the Berlin Academy of the Arts, and produced by the Gay Museum of Berlin and the Academy, in 1997.
Invited participant at a conference sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation, 1992, to plan the 25th- anniversary exhibit commemorating the Stonewall Resistance and the birth of the modern gay rights movement. The exhibit opened at the New York Public Library in June 1994.
Initiator of the June proclamation by New York City Mayor of "Lesbian and Gay Pride and History Month," 1987 through 1989, and edited a calendar of History Month events in 1988 and ‘89.
Letter to the Editor, New York Times, about his own play 'Coming Out!' and Al Carmines' play 'The Faggot' was published August 12, 1973, Section: AL, Page 114.
Letter to the Editor, New York Review of Books, November 2, 1995, vol. 42, no. 17, re a discussion of biological determinism, "Genes and Sexuality: An Exchange," accessed January 27, 2016 from: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1995/11/02/genes-and-sexuality-an-exchange/
Audio and Video
"Neighborhood Voices," historical consultant for a video documentary on Greenwich Village in the 1950s, produced for WNYC-TV, 1985 by Amber Hollibaugh and Barbara Kerr.
"Words," script for an educational documentary on the changing terms defining those called lesbian and gay, was funded by Pennsylvania Humanities Council and Philadelphia Lesbian and Gay Task Force, in 1984.
"Black Pioneers," scripts for Volumes I and II, produced by Caedmon Records, with Eartha Kitt and Moses Gunn, in 1968-1969.
"Inquest at Christiana," as Jon Katz, script and producer, radio play first broadcast on WBAI-FM, New York City, February 11, 1968. Streaming audio version accessed October 27, 2020 from: https://archive.org/details/pra-BB3818.18A
Description, cast: http://www.pacificaradioarchives.org/recording/bb381809a
"The Dispute Over the Ownership of Anthony Burns," script for radio play about a fugitive slave case, presented on WBAI-FM, in April 23, 1967. Streaming: https://archive.org/details/pra-BB3830.07 Description: https://www.pacificaradioarchives.org/recording/bb383007
Aging in the LGBT Community
On July 21, 2012, Katz was honored by Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) at a gathering at Cherry Grove, Fire Island, at the home of Jack Dowling. Jonathan and co-honoree, Amber Hollibaugh, were described as veteran GLBT activists, and writers, and as “two champions of change,” as SAGE Executive Director Michael Adams called them. Jonathan recounted the history of Ruth “Peter” Worth, Holocaust survivor, who included the name “Peter” in her U.S. naturalization papers and bought her house in the Grove in the 1940s. At her death, she left bequests to SAGE and Lambda Legal and her home in the Grove to Amber.
On February 2, 2011, Katz and poet Edward Field celebrated Katz's 73rd birthday at New York City's gay community center, titled Coming Out As Old. Katz presented samples of his most recent visual art work, and Field read his poems about being old and about sex. The event was sponsored by the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, the Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation, OutHistory.org, and SAGE.
November 11, 2010, Katz moderated the opening panel of activist elders at a national conference in NYC, produced by SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders.
- The meeting - The Future of Aging is in Our Hands: A National Conference and Expo for LGBT Older Adults - addressed a range of issues from public policy, personal finances and health and wellness. Issues included the reauthorization of the federal Older Americans Act, activism and aging, HIV/AIDS, sexuality, spirituality, finding financial and legal security, retirement, caregivers and self-empowerment.
In 2010, on February 5, Katz spoke at New York City's LGBT Center, about expanding from the study of sexual history to the creating of sexual art, reinventing himself, and coming out as a visual artist at age 72. He exhibited and discussed examples of his sensual paintings of male nudes. Sponsored by the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, the LGBT Center, and SAGE. A retrospective of Katz's art is available at: JonathanNedKatzArt.com
October-November 2009, Katz co-directed a six-session workshop for SAGE (Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Elders), on how to create and edit content on OutHistory.org.
In 2008, on the occasion of his birthday, Katz organized a panel “Coming Out As 70: Old as Personal and Political,” with Terry Boggis, Thomas Glave, and Amber Hollibaugh, presented by the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, Center Voices, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and SAGE, at the LGBT Community Center, in New York City. Katz presented a lecture: "Gay, Old, Single--and Kicking!"
In 2006 Katz was a panelist on aging, sexuality, and intimacy, at New York University’s Center for the Study of Gender & Sexuality.
In 2005, he facilitated two workshops on gay aging, singleness, sexuality, and intimacy, sponsored by SAGE in New York City.
Katz first came out as old in 2004, at age 66, at the Annual Conference of SAGE (Services & Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, & Transgender Elders), in a talk "On Being Gay, Old, and Single."
In addition to teaching at Yale, conducting a faculty seminar at Princeton, and giving a keynote address at Harvard, in the Spring of 2017, at New York University's Draper Program, part of the university's Graduate School of Arts and Science, Katz co-taught a class titled "Queering the Web: A Practical, Digital Inquiry into the History of Sexuality and Gender." He co-taught the course again in 2018.
As an Adjunct at Eugene Lang College, New York City, Katz taught a course on "Heterosexuality: Its History and Politics," in 1995; a course on "Theories of Sexuality: Lesbian, Gay, and Heterosexual History," the same year; and a course on "Sexuality in U.S. History," in 1991.
As an Adjunct in the New York University History Department Katz taught a course on "Sexuality in U.S. History," in 1984.
Masha Gessen profiled Katz in The New Yorker in "Coming Out and Rising Up, in the Fifty Years After Stonewall," June 28, 2019.
A conference honored the 40th anniversary of the publication of Katz's Gay American History. Titled Gay American History @ 40: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer History: Past, Present, Future, it was held May 5-6, 2016, at The New School, New York City. Conference sponsors: The New School Digital Humanities Initiative, The New School for Public Engagement, CLAGS: The Center for LGBT Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center, and OutHistory.org. Katz presented "Envisioning the World We Make Continued." A video of the whole panel is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-A2i9OtYR0&feature=em-uploademail, accessed June 7, 2016. Katz's talk starts at 1:10:26.
Marc Stein. "Jonathan Ned Katz Murdered Me: History and Suicide." Process: A Blog for American History. Published and accessed March 9, 2016 from http://www.processhistory.org/stein-katz/#more-1498
Jim Downs, "Chapter 4: Gay American History [on Katz]." In Downs' Stand By Me: The Forgotten History of Gay Liberation (NY: Basic Books, March 1, 2016).
Jim Downs. "The Education of Jonathan Ned Katz." Chronicle of Higher Education, February 21, 2016. Accessed March 16, 2016 from http://chronicle.com/article/The-Education-of-Jonathan-Ned/235343
The New York City Fresh Fruit Festival awarded Jonathan Ned Katz its Passion Fruit Award for "Outstanding Service to the Arts and LGBT Communities, April 2013.
The Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History jointly awarded the 2010 Allan Bérubé Prize for outstanding work in public or community-based lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer history to OutHistory (founded by Jonathan Ned Katz, staffed by Lauren Gutterman, produced by the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the City of University of New York Graduate Center, and funded by individual donations and grants from the Arcus Foundation) and to the Polk Street Oral History Project (produced by Joey Plaster with the support of the GLBT Historical Society, the California Council for the Humanities, and the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies). The Bérubé Prize is underwritten by the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco. In reaching its decisions, the Prize Committee prepared the following commendation:
- OutHistory (OutHistory.org) is an extraordinary website that features a wide range of LGBT historical materials and exhibits generated and produced by a diverse and ever-growing collection of students, scholars, and others interested in LGBT history. With impressive accomplishments during its short life and even greater potential for growth in the future, OutHistory is a deserving recipient of the inaugural Bérubé Prize.
- The 2010 Prize Committee was chaired by Marc Stein (York University) and included Nicholas Syrett (University of Northern Colorado) and Ellen Zitani (City University of New York Graduate Center).
A panel, "Gay American History: The Politics and Prose of Jonathan Ned Katz" was presented at the Organization of American Historians Annual Meeting, in 2008, chaired by John D'Emilio, University of Illinois at Chicago, with comment by Elizabeth L. Kennedy, University of Arizona, and presentations by Carolyn Dinshaw, New York University, Jim Downs, Connecticut College, Karla Jay, Pace University, and Marc Stein, York University.
Katz participated in a panel discussion: "Lessons from History: Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Jonathan Ned Katz' Gay American History," held at Harvard University in 2006, with Libby Bouvier of The History Project; Gary Buseck of GLAD; Luis Aponte-Pares of UMass, and Judith Smith, of UMass.
Photographed by Tom Atwood for Kings in Their Castles: Photographs of Queer Men at Home, by Tom Atwood (University of Wisconsin Press), 2002.
Photographed by Robert Giard for a series of photos of gay and lesbian writers, 1986. The picture is available on the website of the New York Public Library.
Recipient of Yale University's Brudner Prize, 2003, an annual honor bestowed on a leading scholar in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender studies.
Chosen to be annual Kessler Lecturer, Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, NYC, 2002.
Chosen Co-Grand Marshal with Joan Nestle of the annual gay pride march, 1999, by the Heritage of Pride Committee.
Honored by the Monette/Horwitz Trust, 1999, "for long term research and writing contributions to the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender communities," and for fostering others' work.
Awarded The Magnus Hirschfeld Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Sex Research, from the German Society for Social-Scientific Sexuality Research, 1997, in Berlin, Germany.
Community Service Award from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force for twenty years of research on gay and lesbian history, 1996.
The Publishing Triangle Whitehead Award for "Lifetime Achievement in Lesbian and Gay Literature." 1995.
New York Council for the Humanities Speakers Program, on "Lesbian, Gay, and Heterosexual American History," 1985-1991.
Invited participant in a seminar on "Sexuality, Gender, and Consumer Culture," at New York Institute for the Humanities, and presented papers on "The Invention of Heterosexuality" and "The Political Economy of Pleasure," 1982 and 1993.
Keynote Address, "The Abominable Sinner Meets the Alternate Lifestyle," at a conference on "Attitudes Toward Homosexuality," Des Moines, sponsored by the Iowa Board for Programs in the Humanities and the N.E.H., 1979.
Keynote Address on "Researching Homosexuality, The Importance of Being Historical," at a conference on "Constructing a History of Power and Sexuality," at New York University, 1978.
Guest lecturer on lesbian, gay, and heterosexual American History, at the University of Chicago, Cornell, Bennington, Sarah Lawrence, the City University of New York, and many other colleges and universities.
The Papers of Jonathan Ned Katz are collected by the manuscript division of The Research Libraries of The New York Public Library.
In addition to the funding mentioned earlier, Katz received a grant to plan the development of a web site on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history from the Zebra Fund/The Funding Exchange, 2005, thanks to the generosity of the late Joan R. Heller and her partner, Dr. L. Diane Bernard.
In 1994, Katz received the Ken Dawson Award from the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, to research sexual and affectional relations between nineteen-century American men.
In 1985, through a grant from the Pennsylvania Humanities Council to the Philadelphia Lesbian and Gay Task Force Katz produced an educational documentary, "Words," on the changing terms defining those now called "Lesbian" and "Gay."
In 1984 and ’85 Katz was awarded two Writer-in-Residence Grants from The New York State Council on the Arts, supported by the Fund for Human Dignity; under the service requirement of these grants Katz twice taught a free, 12-session class on Lesbian and Gay American History.
In 1979 a grant from the Louis and Pauline Cowan Foundation to the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Legal History Research Project, supported Katz's research on the legal history of homosexuals.
In 1978, Katz received a grant from the Louis M. Rabinowitz Foundation (to research American homosexual history.
In 1967 and ’68, he received grants from the Louis M. Rabinowitz Foundation to research and write plays for radio about fugitive slave cases.
In addition to the organizational activities already mentioned, Katz was a founding member of the Gay Academic Union in 1973, and a founding member of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies. In 1980, he was on the original committee that founded the National Writers Union.
Katz's art website is jnkArt.com http://jnkart.com/
From February 15 to March 31, 2013, an exhibit of Jonathan Ned Katz’s art opened at the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, in Soho, New York City, initiated and curated by the noted art historian Jonathan David Katz (the two are not related). A reception for Jonathan Ned Katz's exhibit took place Saturday, February 16 at the Museum. See: http://www.leslielohman.org/exhibitions/2013/making_history_making_art.html
Katz showed his work at the annual art show at the Fire Island Pines Community Center, on August 6, 2011. Two works sold to a collector.
In April-May 2011 Katz’s tempera painting “Man” appeared in a group show, Seductions, curated by Harvey Redding at the PJS Exhibitions Gallery on 14th Street in New York City. “Man”, was sold to a collector.
On February 2, 2011, Katz and poet Edward Field celebrated Katz's 73rd birthday at New York City's gay community center with a presentation titled "Coming Out As Old." Katz presented samples of his most recent visual art work, and Field read his poems about being old and about sex. The event was sponsored by the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, the Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation, OutHistory.org, and SAGE.
Katz's painting, "J. as Walt Whitman," in "WALT WHITMAN’S CALAMUS AT 150," a group show celebrating the 150th anniversary of the publication of the Calamus edition of Leaves of Grass, The Hudson Guild, New York, NY, March 12, 2010–June 1, 2010. Other artists include Peter Harvey, Duane Michaels, Jim Pavlicovic, Miguel Tio, and Andy Warhol.
In 2010, on February 5, Katz spoke at New York City's LGBT Center about expanding from the study of sexual history to the creating of sexual art, reinventing himself, and coming out as a visual artist at age 72. He exhibited and discussed examples of his sensual paintings of male nudes. Sponsored by the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, the LGBT Center, and SAGE.
A large, retrospective collection of Katz's drawings and paintings, from childhood to the present, is available at: jnkArt.com
Katz came out as a late-blooming visual artist in an illustrated interview by Lester Strong titled “Artist’s Profile -- Jonathan Ned Katz: Turning from History to Art,” in the Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide, January/February 2010, pp. 35-35.
Katz is one of the artists featured in the documentary video "Dirty Drawings," in production.
Katz drawing-painting in "Men Loving Men: Images of Love, Lust, and Longing," fundraiser for the LGBT Community Center's HIV/AIDS Youth Prevention Program and Commemorating World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, 2009
A drawing by Katz is included in Dirty Little Drawings, edited by Harvey Redding, Robert W. Richards, and Rob Hugh Rosen, and published by Bruno Gmudner Verlag in 2007.
Ten Katz art works are featured in group show, Molloy/Wright Gallery, Liberty, NY, August 19-20, 2006, along with works by photographers Catherine Opie and Marget Long.
In the mid-1970s, dissatisfied with what Katz judged to be the "cornball" quality of the art in many gay liberation posters, he produced two bold, bright, collage works (one of men holding hands, one of women holding hands) and hung these posters on the second floor wall of the Gay Activist Alliance Firehouse on Wooster Street in Soho. He was suddenly reminded of these works many years ago when viewing some film footage of the Firehouse that included a pan of his posters.
The first performance of Bertolt Brecht’s “Lesson in Understanding,” for which Katz created the scenery for the Judson Poets’ Theater, NYC, took place on February 12, 1965.
Katz also created the scenery for “Leonce and Lena,” at a New York City off-Broadway east side theater around 1965 (further data to come).
"Each Man's Body," poem by Katz, published in Catalyst: A Socialist Journal of the Social Services, "Special Issue: Lesbian and Gay Issues in the Social Services", No. 12 1981, page 46.
Child Writing and Speaking
At age 12, in 1950, Katz contributed to a symposium published in Parents’ Magazine asking "What Shall We Do About Television?"
Katz also contributed another short essay to Parents' Magazine titled "Bringing Up Parents." (Citation forthcoming).
At age 13, Katz was the subject of a photographic story published in Life magazine on June 11, 1951, “Life Visits a Back-yard Movie Set: Jonathan Katz, 13, Films Tom Sawyer,” photographed by Esther Bubley, online at Google.
Additional photos from Bubley's Life shoot are displayed at: EstherBubley.com
As a result of the Life article, the same year Katz appeared on "We the People," WNBC-TV.
He also spoke about film-making on a panel about young people's hobbies, at the New York Times Fifth Annual Boys and Girls Book Fair, at the American Museum of Natural History.
Young Katz was also called to the office of Broadway producer Kermit Bloomgarden to try out for the lead role in "When Late the Sweet Birds Sang" by Irving Ravitch, which previewed (without Katz) in 1953 and was canceled on the verge of opening.
Katz attended the Little Red School House in Greenwich Village, 1945-1952. He attended Music and Art High School as an art major, 1952-1956. He attended Antioch College, in 1956-1957, the College City of New York, 1957-1959, the New School, 1961-1962, and Hunter College, in 1972.
Photographs of Jonathan Ned Katz
Tom Atwood's photograph of Katz appears in Kings in Their Castles: Photographs of Queer Men at Home(Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, September 2005).
In 1986, Katz was photographed by Robert Giard for a series of photos of gay and lesbian writers. The picture is available on the website of the New York Public Library. This photo was published in Giard's Particular Voices: Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1997).
At age 13, Katz was the subject of a photographic story published in Life magazine on June 11, 1951, |“Life Visits a Back-yard Movie Set: Jonathan Katz, 13, Films Tom Sawyer”, photographed by Esther Bubley. Additional photos from Bubley's Life photographic shoot are displayed at: EstherBubley.com
Jonathan Ned Katz Interviewed
1972, September 5. Rosemary Kent, "Eye View." Interview with Katz about coming out publicly, and the forthcoming production his play Coming Out! at the Washington Square Methodist Church. Women's Wear Daily, p. 14.
1976, December or early 1977: Terry Gross, the host of Fresh Air, the radio show produced by WHYY-FM in Philadelphia, interviewed Katz about his book Gay American History: Lesbians and Gay Men in the U.S.A. If you have information about the exact date of this interview, please contact OutHistory.
1976: Studs Terkel, host of The Studs Terkel Program, aired on 98.7 WFMT Chicago, interviewed Katz about Gay American History. Accessed on May 9, 2019, from: https://studsterkel.wfmt.com/programs/jonathan-katz-discusses-his-book-gay-american-history
Richard Hall interviewed Katz for The Advocate about his work on Gay American History.
Katz appeared as a guest on the Oprah Winfrey show. Katz appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show on May 5, 1997 to discuss sexual orientation following Oprah's interview with Ellen DeGeneres and Anne Heche.
Excerpted Reviews of Katz's Books
Love Stories: Sex Between Men Before Homosexuality Chicago: University of Chicago Press, Dec. 2001
“the most fully contextualized study we have so far of [Walt] Whitman’s affections for males…. Katz effectively creates a historical panorama of nineteenth-century male/male sexual behavior, and demonstrates how the culture worked to keep ‘romantic, spiritual love’ between men totally separate from sexual lust between men…. In this book context is everything, and never before have these stories been told against such a detailed backdrop of nineteenth-century male/male sexual and affectional behavior…. Katz has simply dug deeper than anyone else to put these stories together in compelling, surprising, and satisfying ways. – Ed Folsom, Editor, Walt Whitman Quarterly Review, vol. 21, issue 3-4, pages 179-182.
"a living tableau of 19th-century male sex in America...History at its best: informative, insightful, at times downright titilating"--Kirkus Reviews
"nuanced, careful, and humane readings of the ways that gay people have achieved visibility in America...fresh and poignant material even to readers well acquainted with the subject...[Katz's] fondness for his subjects is among the book's most appealing qualities." -- Boston Globe
"highly provocative, often startling.... [Katz] has researched deeply and widely, uncovering astonishing materials...Written clearly, succinctly and free from postmodern jargon, Katz's arguments are strong and vibrant.... contributes surprising, even shocking, insights into how sexual and emotional relationships are constructed, as well as demonstrating the enormous diversity and malleability of human eroticism."--Publishers Weekly
"always interesting and informative....Katz is a diligent social and sexual historian...the overall tone is welcoming, sane, and considered."--Times Literary Supplement
"Katz relates stories with the skill of a novelist, drawing us into the lives and loves of his characters.... Katz's work is rightly being hailed as a landmark work in the history of sexuality for its theoretical originality, remarkable research, and beautifully written portraits of male relationships.."--Seminary Co-Op Bookstore
"the bulk of the book...goes well beyond the well known to tell the remarkable stories of everyday men attracted to other men. Love Stories is a masterwork of both dedicated research and engaging storytelling."---Q-Online
"deeply researched....surprisingly honest and complex stories of gay affection"....Katz, a meticulously close reader, explores the vagaries of 19th-century gay life with indefatigable patience....fills in yawning gaps in the scholarship of sexuality"---The Advocate
"Katz has long been recognized as a pioneering gay historian...We read him for his archival work, his gathering together of stories of men, famous and otherwise, who desired men, stories that become bolder and more radical, like a gay coming-out story, as the book progresses" -- Philadelphia Inquirer
Katz's "stories take us from the 1830s to the 1890s, and in that time we can see perceptions about intimacy change as society changes" -- Washington Post
"His new book draws extensively on scholarship that Katz himself set in motion a quarter of a century ago, yet Love Stories also strengthens its author's reputation as an innovator. The book's subtitle, Sex between Men before Homosexuality, captures Katz's thesis: that the very idea that human sexual desire is typically oriented in a single direction is of modern construction. Understanding men's sexual encounters before that notion became common, Katz argues, requires that we first understand the full significance of the cultural corner that was turned about a century ago when the modern concept of sexual identity emerged. Katz's book seeks to describe the haphazard movement toward that corner, the 'search for an affirmative language of lust between men.' Katz is an able storyteller, a lively writer . . . . Love Stories is no mere collection of individual stories. . . . There is subtle attention to context in this book, recognition that the meaning of its subjects' acts "was embedded in a particular, shifting historical arrangement of affection and sexuality". . . . Katz's unanswered questions are among his book's more valuable contributions. His concluding call for further investigation of 'how aspecific act or desire fit or did not fit with an age's larger arrangement of gender, procreation, production, and power' is inspiring. --John Ibson, Journal of American History, June 2003
The Invention of Heterosexuality (NY: Dutton, 1995)
“Engaging . . . important . . . Among the best books I have read on sexual identity . . . can change the way you think about sex and gender, about yourself and about whom you might become.” Louise DeSalvo, Los Angeles Times
“Superb and iconoclastic critique of the history of heterosexuality.” Richard Horton (Editor, The Lancet) New York Review of Books
“Lively and provocative.” Carol Tavris, New York Times Book Review
“A valuable primer . . . misses no significant twists in sexual politics.” Gary Indiana, Village Voice Literary Supplement
“One of the most important—if not outright subversive—works to emerge from gay and lesbian studies in years.” Mark Thompson, The Advocate
Winner of Critic’s Choice Award, San Francisco Review
One of the best books of 1995. Village Voice Literary Supplement
"This book contains an amateur historian's reflections on a few articles and books about sexuality published between 1892 and 1984. . . . Katz's book is premised on a very strong linguistic determinism. . . . In this view, rather than reflecting something in the world, obscure texts make the world, invent social practices, and remold the people in the texts' image(s). . . . I cannot imagine the book being of any use to historians of sexuality . . . ." Stephen O. Murray, “Discourse Creationism: The Invention of Heterosexuality by Jonathan Ned Katz.” Journal of Sex Research
"Katz's central thesis can be stated simply: Heterosexuality is a recent invention that has come to organize the arrangement between the sexes in a historically specific way. . . . Katz turns to texts and intriguingly plays back all the constructionists claims that have been made about homosexuality over the past quarter century . . . . It is a long overdue argument. . . . Yet while its central thesis is important, the book comes with a number of flaws. . . . It remains at the level of the text. Now, although this is hugely fashionable, I want to know how lived lives were affected by Freud's ideas, not just in therapy but in everyday life. . . . I want to know much more about the ways in which 'heterosexuality' comes out in films, on TV, in pop music, and in the day-to-day practices of men's and women's lives. . . . The final chapters of Katz's book signposts the progressive destabilization of the term heterosexual. . . . The listing here is extraordinarily selective and, again, there is no discussion of consumption, audience, or impact. . . . Katz's book is important in opening up debates that ultimately it does not do justice to. But in fairness, Katz's book is acknowledged as only being a prolegomenon. He opens up a field in a challenging way, but he leaves many qustions still be to be posed and developed. . . ." Ken Plummer, "Beyond Texts: Constructionism Revisited." GLQ Vol. 4 No 1, 1998, pp. 109-115.
Jonathan Ned Katz responds to Ken Plummer's review:
Well, it's November 9, 2009 and I would love to read the book the Plummer describes in his critique of The Invention of Heterosexuality. Will somebody please write that book?
Actually, I agree with every one of Plummer's criticisms, it's just that I was writing a different book.
(1) I had a contract from an editor at a commercial publisher, who wanted a book that would appeal to the biggest possible audience, not just scholarly, academic readers. As an independent scholar, I was (and am) also interested in writing serious, intellectually challenging books that try to reach readers outside of academia. So I set out to write a book that would be clear, fairly short, serious and sometimes funny -- thought-provoking and entertaining.
(2) As far as I knew (and know), The Invention was the first book specifically on the "history of heterosexuality" (it may have coined that phrase). Because it was the first such book, it could not possibly be definitive. In my mind it would be impressionistic and suggestive, and helpfully provocative of future, more detailed, scholarly works.
(3) As I thought about what to put in the book and what to leave out I faced the problem that "heterosexuality" and its history is a giant, potentially overwhelming subject, and that I was only writing a small, first book. At its widest, heterosexual history encompasses everything about the changing acts, feelings, identities, ideas, and institutions that profoundly influence the relationships of women and men with each other. How was I not to be overwhelmed by the potential vastness of heterosexual history? How to keep focused was a major preoccupation as I began work on the book. So, I decided to focus on the word "heterosexual" and the changing idea. Since everybody uses language, everbody is potentially interested in its history, and this seemed a good way to appeal to a general reader, and a good way to keep the book focused. The focus on the heterosexual word and idea was a rhetorical device that I chose to limit what I would write about while keeping a general reader involved. The weight of invention is certainly on the ideology of heterosexuality. But in the book's last chapter, "Toward A New Pleasure System," my analysis clearly suggests that the hetero/homo binary is the product of a particular, historical, system of domination, a historically specific system of power. As a person deeply influenced in my understanding of the world by materialist ideas and Marxism, I end The Invention by pointing to the historical system of heterosexual domination, and our need to change that system.
Daniel Mendelsohn. Review. "The Invention of Heterosexuality". Jonathan Ned Katz." Out, April 1995.
Gay American History: Lesbians and Gay Men in the U.S.A. (NY: T. Y. Crowell, 1976)
- Bullough, Vern L.. Wisconsin Magazine of History, Fall 1977, Vol. 61 Issue 1, pp. 61-61, 1 p. Historical Period: 1800 to 1999; (AN 46046335)
Resistance at Christiana: The Fugitive Slave Resistance Christiana, Pennsylvania, September 11, 1851, A Documentary Account (NY: T. Y Crowell, 1974)
- Aptheker, Herbert. History Teacher, May 1976, Vol. 9, Issue 3, pp. 515-516.
- Mitchell, Peter M. American Historical Review, Feb 76, Vol. 81, Issue 1, p. 210.
- Kline, Thomas R.. Pennsylvania History, Winter 1976, Vol. 43 Issue 1, pp. 90-92.
- Nash, Roderick. New York Historical Society Quarterly, 1975, Vol. 49 Issue 2, p189-190,
- Simms, L. Moody Jr.. History: Reviews of New Books, Sep 1974, Vol. 2, p. 257-257,
Works About Jonathan Ned Katz
Masha Gessen. "Coming Out, and Rising Up, in the Fifty Years since Stonewall. New Yorker, June 28, 2019. https://www.newyorker.com/culture/essay/coming-out-and-rising-up-in-the-fifty-years-after-stonewall
Jim Downs. Stand By Me: The Forgotten History of Gay Liberation (Basic Books, 2016). Chapter titled "Gay American History." https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0465032702/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1
A version of this biographical entry first appeared on Wikipedia. It is expanded here to contain the fullest list available of Katz's works and careers.
- For the French edition see: L'invention de l'hétérosexualité: Les Grands classiques de l'érotologie moderne. EPEL, 2001. ISBN: 2908855518, 9782908855517. 232 pages. For the Brazilian edition see: A Invenção da Heterosexualidade. Rio De Janero: Ediouro, 1996. 282 páginas. ISBN: 8500431989. For the Mexican edition see: ""La invención de la heterosexualidad"", translated by José Luis Cisneros. ISBN: 978-607-7694-10-6. 2012
- For data on the film see the Internet Movie Database at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0253326/
- "Fugitives' 1851 Antislavery Riot Is Detailed in an Exhibition Here." New York Times, September 08, 1974, Sunday. David Brion Davis, letter to the editor, New York Review of Books, April 23, 1992, accessed January 27, 2015 from http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1992/04/23/wounds/
- ↑ Parents' Magazine: December 1950, volume 25, pp. 36-plus. Alternate Title: symposium. Illustration. Document Type: Feature Article. Authors: LANE, Howard A.; BROWN, Barnet; Cerf, Phyllis (Mrs Bennett Alfred Cerf); POLLOCK, Shirley; FLINKER, Irving; KATZ, Jonathan; Television and children. Historical Subjects: TELEVISION broadcasting and children. ISSN: 01950967. Accession Number: 523005417. Persistent link to this record (Permalink): http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=rgr&AN=523005417&site=ehost-live. Database: Readers' Guide Retrospective: 1890-1982 (H.W. Wilson)
- See the television listings in the New York Times for "We the People," on June 8, 1951, Ch. 4, WNBC, p. 41.
- "Odd Pets Subject at Child Book Fair." New York Times, November 17, 1951, Page 15.