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This article is taken from PN Review 204, Volume 38 Number 4, March - April 2012.

A Reply to Gregory Woods Jonathan D. Katz and David C. Ward
We appreciate the Editor permitting us to reply to Gregory Woods. We will be brief, not least because Woods' weary ennui with our project bespeaks an intellectual and political dismissal that does not invite argument, let alone conversation or dialogue.

We would like to say at the outset that we really liked Gregory Woods' book Articulate Flesh. Of course, in comparison to today's stream of sophisticated queer studies research, the book now seems a little under-theorised, but in the mid-1980s the book was truly revolutionary - and convincing. Since it would be both ethically and logically wrong to fault Woods' book by comparison to a more articulated literature that had not yet been written, we adjudge the book, in its own terms and in its own intellectual context, a profound success.

But by that same criterion we deplore Woods' dismissal of our exhibition and catalogue Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture. Writing from a British perspective that has increasingly naturalised a discussion of sexuality across society (and history), Woods either cynically or ignorantly refuses to understand the animating American context that has made Hide/Seek the revolutionary touchstone it has become.

Yes, Brunetto Latini's name was misspelled; yes, we omitted 'Behavior' in citing Kinsey's famous book; and our description of the Primavera conflated a nineteenth-century print with the original. No scholar wants to make mistakes and we regret our errors. But Woods does not cite enough errors to justify his conclusion that 'Clearly, we are ...


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