Charles (Chuck) Morris

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Charles (Chuck) Morris, a young (but tenured!) professor of rhetoric and communications at Boston College. He's done two major pieces on Lincoln and homosexuality. The first focused on the shock waves that followed Larry Kramer's announcement about the Speed diary; Chuck characterizes that reaction as a "homosexual panic" in two communities, residents of Springfield & environs ("Lincoln country") and the community of Lincoln scholars. The second piece, the attached, focuses on reaction to Tripp's book. Chuck approvingly quotes Larry, Jean Baker, Michael Chesson, Christopher Capozzola, me, and, at length, Tripp.

If there is a more comprehensive review of commentary on Tripp, and, to boot, a review more informed with theory, I've not seen it. Chuck combines several things: A highly evolved methodological approach, relentless sourcing, a keen eye for ways that Lincolnists practice quite shabbily exactly what they denounce in Tripp's book, elegant and subtle writing, and not least, he is so intensely, bracingly radical. Don't let the first few pages put you off. This is a work of intellection par excellence. I don't quite agree with Chuck on a number of points but I think he's done the best job so far of delineating how various cultural and academic force fields imprison Lincoln within the heteronormative--and will continue to do so no matter how much "hard evidence" surfaces.

It just goes to show that Tripp was right with his Max Planck epigraph. It's the younger scholars who will see beyond the ossified paradigm of the--well, call them the Donaldists. Chuck is editing Queering the South.

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