The Small Book of Hip Checks

On Queer Gender, Race, and Writing

Book Pages: 152 Illustrations: 1 illustration Published: January 2021

Author: Erica Rand

Gender and Sexuality > Queer Theory, Trans Studies, Literature and Literary Studies > Creative Nonfiction

In The Small Book of Hip Checks Erica Rand uses multiple meanings of hip check—including an athlete using their hip to throw an opponent off-balance and the inspection of racialized gender—to consider the workings of queer gender, race, and writing. Explicitly attending to processes of writing and revising, Rand pursues interruption, rethinking, and redirection to challenge standard methods of argumentation and traditional markers of heft and fluff. She writes about topics including a trans shout-out in a Super Bowl ad, the heyday of lavender dildos, ballet dancer Misty Copeland, the criticism received by figure skater Debi Thomas and tennis great Serena Williams for competing in bodysuits while Black, and the gendering involved in identifying the remains of people who die trying to cross into the United States south of Tucson, Arizona. Along the way, Rand encourages making muscle memory of experimentation and developing an openness to being conceptually knocked sideways. In other words, to be hip-checked.


“Erica Rand's focus on writing and revising, her nuanced close readings, and her engaging and innovative prose make The Small Book of Hip Checks a unique and inviting book. This is an important contribution to conversations in trans studies, queer studies, and feminist studies of the body.” — Toby Beauchamp, author of Going Stealth: Transgender Politics and U.S. Surveillance Practices

“In this wonderful book, hip checks provide the ground for asking urgent questions, the methodology for exploring the questions, and the means for rethinking what we thought we knew. Written by a leading cultural studies theorist, The Small Book of Hip Checks is theoretically brilliant and warmly personal.” — Eithne Luibhéid, author of Pregnant on Arrival: Making the Illegal Immigrant


Availability: In stock
Price: $23.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Erica Rand is Professor of Art and Visual Culture and of Gender and Sexuality Studies at Bates College and author of Red Nails, Black Skates: Gender, Cash, and Pleasure on and off the Ice, The Ellis Island Snow Globe, and Barbie's Queer Accessories, all also published by Duke University Press.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments  vii
Hip Check. An Introduction in Four Parts  1
1. If Men Don't Have Hips, How Can They Hip-Check?
2. Showing and Telling: Debi Thomas's Unitard and the Racing of the Obscence
3. Deep into Drivel: A Burger King Pride Stunt, Mundane Racism, and the Rainbow
4. TV Evidence for the Transgender Tipping Point
5. A Lothario in Gendered Jeans
6. Hide and Seek: In the Afterlives of the Dorothy Hamill Haircut
7. Consensual Gender
8. Clocking the Natural
9. Gifts and Givens
10. Page 27 of The Godfather and the Evidence of Memory
11. Queer Indirections
12. Clocking the Unnatural: On the History of the Lavender Dildo
13. Cis-Skeletal
14. It's on the Template
Conclusion. Hip-Checked
Afterword. Hip-Check Your Writing—An Exercise
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

Rights and licensing
Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-1148-4 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-1048-7