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On Making Sense: Queer Race Narratives of Intelligibility

By Ernesto Javier Martínez


Stanford University Press

ISBN 978-0804783408

2012 |  Monograph


On Making Sense juxtaposes key texts produced by Latinx, Black, and Asian queer writers and artists in the United States to argue that across ethnic groups and genres, and over an extended time, queers of color have been developing an understanding of knowledge acquisition in oppressive contexts distinguished by a recurring preoccupation with intelligibility. This preoccupation is best understood as a concern with the everyday, embodied labor of making sense of oneself and making sense to others in contexts of intense ideological violence and interpersonal conflict. 


Lambda Literary Award (Finalist)​, 2013


"On Making Sense represents nothing less than a much needed generational shift in the practice of Queer Studies itself."Robert Reid-Pharr, Harvard University

"On Making Sense takes queer work on epistemology in a bold new direction. In deft readings of literary and cultural texts, Martínez demonstrates just how urgent the task of making sense—of one's life and to others—is for minoritized subjects. Considering this 'need to know' among queer people of color alongside broad questions of identity, consciousness, and ideology, Martinez reminds us of the vital stakes of our knowledge-projects."Heather Love, University of Pennsylvania

"I submit that it is both brilliant and as near to flawless as I can imagine a book to be. It is a book that is both theoretical and pedagogical in the most generous sense of both terms for it refuses to shy away from the thorny, complex theoretical problems of identity while remaining crystal clear in its assertions." — John Riofrio, Journal of American Studies

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