Queer Compulsions: Race, Nation, and Sexuality in the Affairs of Yone Noguchi

Charlie’s words descended like moonbeams lighting Yone’s lonely walks at night. He more than simply enjoyed the notes. 'I love them. That’s all I know!' Yone declared, 'I like you, I love you, I like to be some day in your study sitting all day by you indeed.' To Yone, Charles appeared filled with poetry and inspiration for his own ambitions to become a English language poet.

Lecture Description

Immigrant Yone Noguchi, who is best known today as the father of Asian American sculptor Isamu Noguchi, settled in San Francisco in the 1890s. Within seven years after his arrival, he impregnated his editor Leonie Glimour and became engaged to Alabama’s “first historian” Ethel Armes as he wrote love letters to San Francisco Bohemian Club founder Charles Warren Stoddard. Noguchi’s affairs poignantly reveal vibrant polyamorous intimacies among first generation Japanese who are historically seen as strictly heterosexual and forced into debilitating asexuality in turn-of-the-century “bachelor societies.”

CATEGORIES

Asian American LGBTQ+

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