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Jeffrey Escoffier, Health Official and Scholar of Gay Theory, Dies at 79

And he wrote voluminously. Many of his essays, as he put it within the introduction to “American Homo: Community and Perversity,” his 1998 guide, “explore the social significance of homosexual emancipation since the end of World War II and the political reaction that it has precipitated in American public life.”

That included excavating the pre-Stonewall historical past of homosexual life, together with financial and different features of it. It additionally included inspecting homosexual pornography, the way it had modified over the a long time and the way it had each mirrored and helped to form homosexual id. His most up-to-date essay assortment, printed final yr, was “Sex, Society, and the Making of Pornography: The Pornographic Object of Knowledge.”

“Jeffrey Escoffier embodied the radical queer public intellectual,” Whitney Strub, an affiliate professor at Rutgers University-Newark whose books embrace “Perversion for Profit: The Politics of Pornography and the Rise of the New Right” (2010), stated by electronic mail. “In particular, in such essays as ‘The Political Economy of the Closet,’ he showed how to think and write gay economic history, even when its archives had often been erased or destroyed. Later, his pioneering work on pornography called on scholars to move beyond textual analysis and think about labor, the work behind the bodies onscreen.”

Jeffrey Paul Escoffier was born on Oct. 9, 1942, in Baltimore and grew up in Manhattan and on Staten Island. His father, George, was an Army colonel, and his mom, Iris (Miller) Wendel, owned an vintage store.

“I had my first homosexual experience at 16 during the summer of 1959,” Mr. Escoffier wrote in “American Homo.” “After that, I thirsted for wild adventure. Growing up on Staten Island, realizing my queerness in its sleepy working-class communities, I viewed Greenwich Village as Shangri-La.”

Mr. Escoffier earned a bachelor’s diploma at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Md., and a grasp’s in worldwide affairs at Columbia University. He moved to Philadelphia in 1970 and did doctoral work in financial historical past at the University of Pennsylvania.

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