Jeffrey Escoffier, health official and scholar of homosexual theory, dies at 79

And he wrote a lot. Many of his essays, as he included it in the prologue to “American Homo: Community and Perversity,” his 1998 book, “explore the social implications of gay emancipation. since the end of World War II and the political backlash it caused. American public life. “

That includes unearthing pre-Stonewall history of gay life, along with its economic and other aspects. It also includes an examination of gay pornography, how it has changed over the decades, and how it reflects and helps shape gay identities. His most recent collection of essays, published last year, is “Sex, Society, and the Creation of Pornography: Objects of Erotic Knowledge.”

“Jeffrey Escoffier embodies the radically outrageous public intellectual,” says Whitney Strub, an associate professor at Rutgers University-Newark, whose books include “The Metamorphosis for Profit: The Politics of Pornography prostitution and the rise of the new right” (2010), said by email. In particular, in essays like ‘The Political Economy of the Wardrobe’ he shows how to think and write gay economic history, even when its archives are often deleted. or destroyed. Later, his pioneering work on pornography appealed to scholars to move beyond textual analysis and think about the labor and work behind screen bodies. “

Jeffrey Paul Escoffier was born on October 9, 1942 in Baltimore and raised in Manhattan and on Staten Island. His father, George, is an army colonel, and his mother, Iris (Miller) Wendel, owns an antiques store.

“I had my first homosexual experience at the age of 16 in the summer of 1959,” Escoffier wrote in “American Homo.” “Then I craved wild adventure. Growing up on Staten Island, realizing my strangeness in the sleepy working-class communities there, I came to regard Greenwich Village as Shangri-La. “

Mr. Escoffier holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of St. John’s in Annapolis, Md., and a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University. He moved to Philadelphia in 1970 and did a doctorate in economic history at the University of Pennsylvania.

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