It’s a great interview because it covers a lot of the key ideas in that book pretty simply. There’s also a nice long section about the complexities around bisexuality in relation to queer, which is something that a lot of people have been asking about.
Late last year Icon Books released Queer: A Graphic History by Meg-John Barker and Julia Scheele which looks at queer theory and the ideas and people that shaped this way of examining and thinking about society and individuals. Barker is a therapist, activist, writer and a senior lecturer at the Open University in the UK. They were kind enough to chat about the book and try to lay out some of the core concepts behind queer theory, which Barker admits are complicated.
Alex Dueben: Where did the idea for this book come from? What made you interested in making a graphic novel?
Meg-John Barker: Icon books have this whole series of books called ‘Introducing…’ where they try to make complex academic or political ideas accessible and engaging to everybody using the comic format. When they asked me if I’d be interested in writing one of these books about queer I was so excited. My love of comics goes back to childhood and I’ve been heavily into graphic novels all of my adult life. I also found the Introducing books super helpful myself when I was a student and trying to wrap my head around existentialism, Freud, or Foucault, for example.
At the same time as having a passion for comics, I’ve always been convinced that queer theory and queer activism has a lot to offer everyone, not just academics, activists, or people who identify as queer. So this was my opportunity to get that across.
Dueben: What was the process like? What did you give Julia and how were you initially envisioning the book? Read more…