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David Greven publishes volume on Ryan Murphy

Co-edited book collects essays on Murphy’s Queer America

Dr. David Greven and co-editor Dr. Brenda R. Weber (Indiana University) have curated and brought together a group of diverse, engaging, and groundbreaking essays on the phenomenon that they call Ryan Murphy’s Queer America (Routledge, 2022). Murphy has famously described himself as just a “gay boy from Indiana”; he has grown up to forge a media empire, with writer, director, and/or producer credits ranging from Glee and Pose to Halston, 9-1-1 Lonestar, American Crime Story, and The New Normal. Each of these shows is infused with a distinctive form of queer energy, animating the narratives with both campy excess and poignant longing and giving new meaning to the American story.

The collection takes up Murphy as auteur and showrunner, considering the gendered and sexual politics of Murphy’s wide body of work. Using an intersectional framework throughout, an impressive list of well-known and emerging scholars engages with Murphy’s diverse output, while also making the case for Murphy’s version of a queer sensibility, a revised notion of queer time, cultural memory, and the contributions his own production company makes to a politics of LGBTQ+ representation and evolving gender identities.

What critics are saying:

"A terrific assortment of essays on marquee producer Ryan Murphy’s vast body of work, Ryan Murphy’s Queer America, critically explores his signature queer baroque aesthetic and contributions to LGBTQ+ self-representation. Television, queer studies, and feminist scholars reflect on the queer erotics, historical reconsiderations, and production culture of Murphy’s influential canon. This enjoyable and illuminating collection is sure to have wide student appeal."          

- Isabel C. Pinedo (Hunter College, CUNY)

"Some of us can remember when the notion that an openly queer artist could be among the most prominent, central creators of mainstream American popular culture was simply unthinkable. This dazzlingly smart anthology addresses the unprecedented rise to ubiquity of Ryan Murphy and his vast output across media, with a necessary balance of enthusiastic admiration and serious reservation. Love him or hate him, Murphy’s impact can’t be ignored, and his work brings out the best in this impressive collection of scholars."

- Corey K. Creekmur (University of Iowa)

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.