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A Taste For Brown BodiesGay Modernity and Cosmopolitan Desire$
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Hiram Perez

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781479818655

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479818655.001.0001

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You Can Have My Brown Body and Eat It, Too!

You Can Have My Brown Body and Eat It, Too!

(p.97) 4 You Can Have My Brown Body and Eat It, Too!
A Taste For Brown Bodies

Hiram Pérez

NYU Press

Expanding on the notion of the primal “brown body” mediating gay modernity, this chapter argues that this brown body (frequently, though not exclusively, embodied as “Latino”) mediates gay male shame. Andy Warhol’s film, Screen Test #2, Douglas Crimp’s essay on that film, “Mario Montez, For Shame,” and the “Gay Shame” conference held at the University of Michigan in 2003, which opened with a showing of the Warhol film, provide the primary texts for analysis. Crimp (and “Gay Shame” by extension) deploys monolithic constructions of “Puerto Rican” and “Catholic” in order to project and universalize (the urbane, white gay man’s) shame onto Montez’s othered (or browned) body. The chapter argues that Montez, rather than merely providing the passive object of Warhol’s experiments in camera-technique and exposure, skillfully pirates the film’s authority in ways that remain illegible to Crimp’s construction of gay shame.

Keywords:   Andy Warhol, brown body, Douglas Crimp, gay modernity, gay shame, Latino, Mario Montez, queer theory, white gay man

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