Queer Objects

Edited by Chris Brickell and Judith Collard

Queer lives give rise to a vast array of objects: the things we fill our houses with, the gifts we share with our friends, the commodities we consume at work and at play, the clothes and accessories we wear, various reminders of state power, as well as the analogue and digital technologies we use to communicate with one another.

But what makes an object queer?

The sixty-three chapters in Queer Objects consider this question in relation to lesbian, gay and transgender communities across time, cultures and space. In this unique international collaboration, well-known and newer writers traverse world history to write about items ranging from ancient Egyptian tomb paintings and Roman artefacts to political placards, snapshots, sex toys and the smartphone.

Queer Objects is co-published by Otago University Press, Rutgers University Press and Manchester University Press. It includes chapters on objects from New Zealand, Australia, North America, Thailand, Japan, the UK, France, Germany, Poland, Greece, Italy and Egypt.


The queer angel of history has brought us this remarkable book of objects that have aroused memories - involuntary and voluntary, painful and uplifting, individual and communal. A deeply moving exploration of history, memory, and queerness.

- Jeffrey Escoffier, author of American Homo: Community and perversity

I've been waiting for a book like Queer Objects that examines the stuff of material culture through the sensibilities of many contributors. Each chapter reveals insider knowledge of a particular item, framing it in passionate queer context that triggers our own associations and memories. This is a gorgeous book; you'll want to keep it out in plain view.

- E.G. Crichton, visual artist, creator of Lineage: Matchmaking in the archive and Migrating Archive

Queer Objects delights and provokes in its expansive offering of moments, materials, images and texts that capture the presence of queer identities across time and space. Richly illustrated and exceptionally well-informed its authors bring familiar and unfamiliar subjects to life in new and exciting ways. A must for any respectable and unrespectable queer library.

- Christopher Breward, author of Fashion and modernity, Fashioning London and The hidden consumer: Masculinities, fashion and city life 1860-1914.