BLACK QUEER STUDIES
BLACK QUEER STUDIESA CRITICAL ANTHOLOGY
E. PATRICK JOHNSON AND MAE G. HENDERSON,EDITORSDUKE UNIVERSITY PRESSDURHAM AND LONDON 2005
2005 Duke University PressAll rights reservedPrinted in the United States of America on acid-free paper Designed by Amy Ruth BuchananTypeset in Minion by Keystone Typesetting, Inc.Library of Congress Catalogingin-Publication Data appear on the last printed page of this book.The distribution of this book is supported by a generous grant from the Gill Foundation.
CONTENTSACKNOWLEDGMENTSFOREWORD: “HOME” IS A FOUR-LETTER WORDINTRODUCTION: QUEERING BLACK STUDIES/ “QUARING” QUEER STUDIESNOTESPART I: DISCIPLINARY TENSIONS: BLACK STUDIES/QUEER STUDIESPUNKS, BULLDAGGERS,AND WELFARE QUEENS: THE RADICALPOTENTIAL OF QUEERPOLITICS?THE EMERGENCE OF QUEER POLITICS AND A NEW POLITICS OF TRANSFORMATIONTHE ROOT OF QUEER POLITICS: CHALLENGING HETERONORMATIVITY?HETEROSEXUALS ON THE (OUT)SIDE OF HETERONORMATIVITYCONCLUSION: DESTABILIZATION AND RADICAL COALITION WORKNOTESRACE-ING HOMONORMATIVITY: CITIZENSHIP, SOCIOLOGY, AND GAY IDENTITYSOCIAL CONSTRUCTION AND THE GENEALOGY OF WHITE ETHNICITYTHE NONNORMATIVE PROPERTIES OF RACIAL DIFFERENCEHOMONORMATIVITY AND THE COHERENCE OF CITIZENSHIPTHE POLYMORPHOUS EXCLUSIONS OF HOMONORMATIVITYNOTESSTRAIGHT BLACK STUDIES: ON AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES,: JAMES BALDWIN, ANDBLACK QUEER STUDIESNOTESOUTSIDE IN BLACK STUDIES: READING FROM A QUEER PLACE IN THE DIASPORANOTESTHE EVIDENCE OF FELT INTUITION: MINORITY EXPERIENCE, EVERYDAY LIFE, ANDCRITICAL SPECULATIVE KNOWLEDGENOTES“QUARE” STUDIES, OR (ALMOST) EVERYTHING I KNOW: ABOUT QUEER STUDIES ILEARNED FROM MY GRANDMOTHER“RACE TROUBLE”: QUEER STUDIES OR THE STUDY OF WHITE QUEERS“YOUR BLUES AIN’T LIKE MINE”: THE INVALIDATION OF “EXPERIENCE”“QUARING” THE QUEER: TROPING THE TROPE
SEEING THROUGH QUARE EYES: READING MARLON RIGGS’S BLACK IS BLACK AIN’TBRINGIN’ IT ON “HOME”: QUARE STUDIES ON THE BACK PORCHCODANOTESPART II: REPRESENTING THE “RACE”: BLACKNESS, QUEERS, AND THE POLITICS OFVISIBILITYBEYOND THE CLOSET AS RACELESS PARADIGMBEYOND THE BODY HOMOSEXUAL: AN EPISTEMOLOGY OF RACIAL CLAUSTROPHILIABLACK FAGGOTRY BEYOND THE CLOSET NARRATIVENOTESPRIVILEGEMALE PRIVILEGESHETEROSEXUAL PRIVILEGESCONCLUSION: RESISTING PRIVILEGESNOTES“JOINING THE LESBIANS”: CINEMATIC REGIMES OF BLACK LESBIAN VISIBILITY“NOW WE THINK AS WE FUCK”: 8 AN ANTIDOTE TO INNOCENT NOTIONS“WE CALLED THEM ‘WOMEN-LOVERS”’; OR, SOME OF THE THINGS THAT ARE FORGOTTEN WHILE “THEWATERMELON WOMAN” IS “LIVING WITH PRIDE”15NOTESWHY ARE THE GAY GHETTOES WHITE?RACE AND GAY NEIGHBORHOOD FORMATION IN NEW ORLEANSCONTROLLING IMAGES OF BLACK GAY MENRACE, RACISM, CLASS, AND HOUSINGCONCLUSIONNOTESPART III: HOW TO TEACH THE UNSPEAKABLE: RACE, QUEER STUDIES, AND PEDAGOGYEMBRACING THE TEACHABLE MOMENT: THE BLACK GAY BODY IN THE CLASSROOMAS EMBODIED TEXTA STUDENT PERFORMING DRAG IN THE CLASSROOMTO TEACH OR NOT TO TEACH?NOTESARE WE FAMILY? PEDAGOGY AND THE RACE FOR QUEERNESSNOTESON BEING A WITNESS: PASSION, PEDAGOGY, AND THE LEGACY OF JAMES BALDWINNOTES
PART IV: BLACK QUEER FICTION: WHO IS “READING” US?BUT SOME OF US ARE BRAVE LESBIANS: THE ABSENCE OF BLACK LESBIAN FICTIONNOTESJAMES BALDWIN’S GIOVANNI’S ROOM: EXPATRIATION, “RACIAL DRAG,” ANDHOMOSEXUAL PANICROBERT O’HARA’S INSURRECTION: “QUE(E)RYING” HISTORYNOTESBIBLIOGRAPHYCONTRIBUTORS
ACKNOWLEDGM ENTSWe are indebted to the individuals and institutions that enabled the creation of this project. First,we would like to thank the volume’s contributors for their patience during the compilation andpublication process: their support and commitment has made the journey a smooth one. Further, thefollowing scholars were presenters at the Black Queer Studies in the Millennium conference, andwhile their work does not appear in this volume their imprint is on its final form: M. JacquelineAlexander, Lindon Barrett, Jennifer DeVere Brody, Cheryl Clarke, Jerome M. Culp Jr., Cheryl Dunye,Gerard Fergerson, Shari Frilot, Thomas Glave, Thomas A. Harris, Alycee Lane, Wahneema Lubiano,Darieck Scott, Jane Splawn, and Yvonne Welbon.We would like to thank the centers, departments, organizations, and programs at the University ofNorth Carolina at Chapel Hill that contributed resources to the conference out of which this volumeemerged, including African and African American Studies, Carolina Alternative Meetings ofProfessional and Graduate Students (CAMP), Communication Studies, Comparative Literature,Curriculum in Women’s Studies, the English Department, the Office of the Vice Provost for GraduateStudies and Research, the Sonja Haynes Stone Black Cultural Center, the Student Finance Committee,the University Program in Cultural Studies, and especially the Williamson Committee to Promote Gayand Lesbian Studies. The following individuals also contributed to making the conference a success:Renee Alexander, Kelly Gallagher, Mark Pippen, Douglas McLachlan, Glenn Grossman, TessChakkalakal, Marie Nesnow, Robin Vander, Stephen Lewis, Travaughn Eubanks, Curt Blackman,Christi Mayville, Daniel Lebold, Olateju Omolodun, Jamie Lipschultz, Gladys Jasmine, Erica Smiley,Lucy Pearce, Elizabeth Blackwood, Camille Simpson, Tiffany Foster, Kim Curtis, David Roberts,Karolyn Tyson, Joanna Muster, Chandra Ford, Kelly Rowett, Jules Odendahl, Doug Taylor, andRachel Hall.Many friends and colleagues gave their support at various stages of the project. Special thanksgoes to Cedric Brown, Dwight Conquergood, Sandra Richards, and Cheryl Wall.Special thanks to Darlene Clark Hine and the Department of African American Studies atNorthwestern University who provided funding to publish this volume.We are deeply indebted to Ken Wissoker, editor-in-chief at Duke University Press, for staying thecourse and supporting this project. We would also like to thank the production staff at the Press fortheir professionalism, helpfulness, and diligence.Finally, we thank Stephen Lewis, who always manages to step in in the nick of time.
FOREWORD:“HOM E” IS A FOUR-LETTER WORDSHARON P. HOLLANDThe editors of this volume deploy the term “interanimation” to describe the intellectual dynamic atplay in the essays’ various musings. I can think of no better word or way to describe both thiscollection and my experience of its genesis. In April 2000, I traveled to North Carolina to witness anunprecedented event: the field in which I had been laboring since my junior year at Princeton wasnow coming of age. I moved toward a space that attempted to define a connection between “black”and “queer” at a time when “queer” had its own controversial orbit. Would “queer” obfuscate thepresence of lesbians in a movement that, although “grounded in social and political activism,”according to the editors, had its own specific historical struggle over the “inclusion” of women in thestory of itself ? The academic market, at least its emerging “queer” constituency, seemed to beinterpreting “identity politics” as the root of all evil—simply get rid of “race” (always a fiction?) andthe category of “woman” (already a misnomer?) and we would have our rebirth on the other side ofour problem(s).While “queer” studies began to define its origins from the complex remaking of identity politics,those of us already working in the field of black feminism found this “new” trajectory unsettling—scholars like Hazel Carby and Hortense Spillers had already unseated the idea of “woman” as auniversal category; Gloria Hull, Barbara Smith, and others had already questioned the myopicidentity politics of civil rights and women’s activist networks. The question hardly seemed “new” tous at all, but rather more of the same: remaking discourse in the image of its rightful owners—whitewashing the product so that it could and would be more palpable to a growing constituency.Been there, done that. The present tension in the fields of feminist, ethnic, and queer studies remindedme of a talk I once heard while I was an assistant professor at Stanford. During this talk, a renownedscholar of the history of academic institutions and forms of knowledge production tried to explain thepressures brought to bear on English departments in the last decade of the twentieth century in termsof capital and interdisciplinarity. When my colleague in African American studies challenged him byrecalling the formation of African American and Women’s studies programs and the kind of bodiesthat those disciplinary “homes” brought to the academy, he seemed puzzled and rather annoyed. Hemistook her challenge as personal and emotional (identity politics) rather than as intellectual. It was amisunderstanding that taught me a valuable lesson about the way that “race” and “gender” really workin the academy. I still find that rather than listen to what I am actually saying, colleagues will oftensee me—black, woman, lesbian—and have very high expectations for the kind of narrative that Imight employ. Often, they run that tape simultaneously with my voice, so that the din of the taped
voice is louder than my own. We have a script that colleagues expect us to deliver, and when we donot the damage is twofold: “How dare you not live up to my expectations” couples with the kind ofshame that colleagues manifest when they realize that in order to argue with you, they would have hadto listen to you in the first place. Since the latter is an embarrassing moment for speaker and audience,the deadlock is dead space.I traveled to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, knowing that I would share space—at least for threedays—with scholars who know that moment, who’ve felt its force. I wasn’t expecting “home” and asthe weekend progressed, so many of us testified to the bittersweet affect of that remedy. For me inparticular, it was more bitter than sweet because the conference would return me to my family seat, asnearby Durham was “home” for my mother’s people. My estrangement from my biological family hadendured for thirteen years, so that when my plane landed at Raleigh-Durham airport, I felt like a thiefin the night. As I trespassed upon a place that was no longer “home” for me, I walked into anintellectual space that was also a fraught location for my own “identity politics.” The queer pleasurewas overwhelming—that weekend, I loved Durham with a vengeance.What I found at the Black Queer Studies in the Millennium conference was a group of colleaguesinterested in the “messiness” of it all. Each panel presented questions and challenges for thediscipline(s) and for “blackness.” Moreover, it taught us how to talk to one another—how to disagreein public, even though the stakes of that disagreement were and are so high. For us, blackness had alimit and a shape, shortcomings and advantages. As E. Patrick Johnson and Mae G. Henderson note,“we want[ed] to quare queer, throw shade on its meanings.” And throw shade we did—it was abeautiful thing.With the memory of that particular moment in mind, the editors of this volume, wittingly orunwittingly, group the essays in each section around an important intellectual moment in theconference. In this sense, this collection is a gift, a re-memory, for those of us who witnessed itspower: the good, the bad, and at times, the ugly. For scholars new to the field, it provides aninvaluable chronicle of an emerging field of inquiry—one that has its shape as the new queer of colorcritique, pace José Muñoz and Roderick Ferguson, to name only two. As scholars move everincreasingly toward issues of globalization and U.S. imperialism, the essays collected hereunabashedly focus on the Americas as a specific site—as a place where black peoples have and stillexperience the force of this country’s perpetual attempt to increase its borders and its reach.Because hindsight is always dangerous, I will not critique what is missing from this collection, butrather only describe its missed opportunities as a kind of melancholia—the symptom always in searchof dis-ease. What the collection does not and cannot articulate is the tension that arose between thosewho produce “culture” and those who consider themselves the arbiters of its critical reception. Whilemany of us have considered the line between critic and culture to be porous, we quickly learned thatthere are important and salient differences between the two. Ironically enough, this tension alsohelped to obfuscate another typical division—that is, it failed to reproduce a now-familiar conferencescene where “activists” and “academics” square off like gangstas in a B movie. Instead, the frictionbetween critics and filmmakers, journalists and theorists, was focused on the intellectual endeavorbefore us—simultaneously demonstrating the importance of our efforts and the necessity for theconference itself. Black Queer Studies in the Millennium still remains one of the only conferences Ihave attended where activists and academics weren’t encouraged to rip each other to shreds. It wasobvious in the conference auditorium—at least for that weekend—that we needed one another tocomplete the discourse, to do the work.E. Patrick Johnson’s solo performance at the end of a long Saturday articulated the drama of that
weekend and the necessity of cultural production. It brought many of us back to the beginning—at onepoint we were all little black boys and girls who knew that we were “quare” and that we couldn’thide it. Like Morrison’s classic line “eruptions of funk”—our quareness exploded upon the ordinarylife of childhood and made family and friendship all the more difficult, morphing them into thebittersweet tonic that many of us now refer to as “home”—a place of refuge and escape. Ourquareness also brought many of us to the public library and ultimately to the university as wesearched for reflections of ourselves and began to find them tucked away in the Harlem Renaissance,embedded in second-wave feminism, and nestled at the heart of the civil rights struggle. The more wesaw, the more we understood ourselves as backbone rather than anomaly; as producing the veryfriction necessary for “culture” to survive. And somewhere in there we learned to be quare, black,and proud. The scholars in this collection and at the conference struggled with the impossibility ofrepresenting blackness while simultaneously critiquing its adequacy as a signifier of a people andtheir cultural productions. This collection reminds those of us still working in and around theboundaries of quare studies of the necessity for our work. Home is a four-letter word and the practiceof black queer/quare studies embodies all of its double meanings.On the way to the airport, I took a detour past my grandmother’s house with its magical grove ofpine trees on one side and its ornery crabapple tree in the backyard. The tree was both lookout post(from its branches we could see the Q-Dogs stepping on the field of the local high school) andmenace, as over the course of a decade each cousin fell from it, ran into it, or punctured himself orherself on one of its tree house nails, put there by one of our parents in their youth, no doubt. I rodepast North Carolina Central University, where my grandfather once was an English and LatinProfessor, and then traveled toward the A.M.E. Zion Church and remembered the uncomfortabledresses and the itchy stockings, along with the black women with perfumed bodies and plenty of juicyfruit gum in their purses in case you started “acting up.” Quare even then, I never got the spiriteveryone around me so passionately possessed, and when I turned twelve I told my mother that Icouldn’t go to church any longer. After we struck some kind of bargain, she let me spend my Sundaymornings with Johnny Weissmuller, Maureen O’Hara, Abbott and Costello, Bette Davis, and JoanCrawford; she left me to my queer pleasures. As I continued my trek out of Durham I stoppeddowntown at the Mutual Life Insurance building, a company my grandfather had helped to “raise up.”Although I had been a vegetarian for some years, I pulled into the Winn-Dixie parking lot and headedfor the breakfast meat aisle. God, I missed liver pudding. I fingered the plastic wrapping and thoughtabout my first lesson in how to cook the mystery meat.I must have been in a trance, because a woman behind me said, “Are you going to buy that meat,sugar, or are you going to look at it all afternoon instead?” I turned around and we laughed together asshe patted my arm sympathetically and reached for a package. On the plane I finally understood thelast line of Absalom, Absalom!, and I muttered “I don’t hate it, I don’t hate it” as we cut throughcumulus clouds climbing to twenty-six thousand feet.
INTRODUCTION:QUEERING BLACKSTUDIES/ “QUARING” QUEER STUDIESE. PATRICK JOHNSON AND M AE G. HENDERSONBlack Queer Studies serves as a critical intervention in the discourses of black studies and queerstudies. In seeking to interanimate both black studies and queer studies, this volume stages a dialogicand dialectic encounter between these two liberatory and interrogatory discourses. Our objectivehere is to build a bridge and negotiate a space of inquiry between these two fields of study whilesabotaging neither and enabling both. To this end, we have put into dialogue a group of critics,writers, scholars, and cultural producers whose work links the twentieth-century achievements ofblack studies—a field that came of age in the 1970s and 1980s—with that of the still-emergent fieldof queer studies. The essays collected here reflect the scholarship of a broad range of theorists andcultural workers who principally engage black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender studies. Manyof these essays were first presented at the Black Queer Studies in the Millennium conference held atthe University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill on April 4–6, 2000. But for the sake of inclusiveness,some essays not presented at the conference but representing the work of the attendees have beenincorporated; and still others have been added to broaden and complement the disciplinary andmethodological range and scope of the collection.Although these essays span diverse disciplines and deploy multiple methodologies, they only beginto mine the rich theoretical terrain of black studies as it intersects with queer studies. Notably, manyof the authors included in this volume are in the humanities as opposed to the social sciences, a biasthat is a reflection of the background of the editors rather than a deliberate omission. Our goal,however, is to make disciplinary boundaries more permeable and thereby encourage border crossingsbetween the humanities and social sciences. As such, the focus of inquiry here tends to be less on theformal disciplinary training of our contributors and more on the interdisciplinary intellectual contentof their scholarship. Nevertheless, while some authors write from paradigms reflecting a perspectiveand training in the social sciences and/or the humanities, others deploy social science methodologiesdespite their affiliation with the humanities. Moreover, much of the interventionist work in the areasof race and sexuality has come out of the humanities and not the social sciences. Indeed, socialscience fields such as sociology have often been antagonistic toward African American culture andnonnormative sexualities in ways that have, according to Roderick Ferguson, “excluded anddisciplined those formations that deviate from the racial ideal of heteropatriarchy.”1This collection of essays, then, represents a diverse range of critical and theoretical postures aswell as a cross-section of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, including Englishliterature, film studies, black studies, sociology, history, political science, legal studies, cultural
studies, performance studies, creative writing, and pedagogical studies. More specifically, thisvolume is intended to provide students, scholars, and teachers with critical insight into the variousand multiple intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality as each section addresses issues ofinstitutional, disciplinary, and interdisciplinary formations, including public policy, performancestudies, pedagogical praxis, literary studies, and cultural studies. In addition, we hope that thesedialogues will provide insight into the category of “queer” in raced communities outside the academy.In its current configuration, the volume’s content is clearly centered within the regional context ofthe United States. Nonetheless, we are aware of the very important implications of diaspora andpostcolonial studies relative to black American sexuality. We are also conscious of the sometimesnarcissistic and insular theorizing of U.S.-based academics who do not thoroughly engage the impactof globalization and U.S. imperialism on the transnational flows of racialized sexuality. Indeed, in hisessay in this volume Rinaldo Walcott advocates a “diaspora reading practice” that would push theblack studies project beyond a “ ‘neat’ national project” and suggests that black diaspora queers havealready begun to push some of those boundaries. Mindful of Walcott’s critique of black studies’nationalism, our focus here primarily on U.S. racialized sexual politics is not meant to be totalizing orpolemic but rather strategic. Black queer studies is a nascent field and we feel compelled to prioritizea concomitant embryonic theoretical discussion within U.S. borders in order to make an intervention“at home,” as it were. What follows, then, is a brief history aimed at exposing the ways in whichblack studies and queer studies have heretofore eclipsed each other. The ultimate goal here is todemonstrate how both might be pressed into the service of a larger project—one imbricating race,class, gender, and sexuality.Variously named “black studies,” “Afro-American studies,” “Africana studies” and “AfricanAmerican studies,” programs and departments demarcating this disciplinary formation emerged in thelate 1960s and early 1970s, due largely to the efforts of black students and faculty who petitioned, satin, protested, and otherwise brought pressure to bear on white administrators at predominately whiteinstitutions of higher learning around the United States. After marking over thirty years of academicinstitutionalization, many of these departments and programs now assume leading roles in shapingcanons and intellectual currents, as well as the main corpus of research on race in the United Statesand the diaspora. Not coincidentally, the Civil Rights and Black Power movements of this periodprovided the historical backdrop and social street scene fueling the interventions staged on themanicured lawns of the ivory tower. Nor was it a coincidence that the political and rhetoricalstrategies of the larger race and rights movement were deployed by intellectual and cultural activistsdemanding institutional support for the formation of black studies. Unfortunately, it was precisely thisdiscursive maneuvering—largely formulated by the dominant black male leadership—that providedthe anchor for an exclusionary agenda that effectively cordoned off all identity categories that werenot primarily based on race.Most conspicuous in these race-based arrangements, perhaps, was the manifestation of a distinctgender-sex hierarchy. Black heterosexual male leadership in the black studies movement eitherignored or relegated to secondary status the experiences and contributions of black women who mostoften were expected to “stand by their men” in the academic struggle for race rights. Such blatantsexism and, in some cases, downright misogyny in the academy occluded the specificity of blackwomen’s experiences and contributions to and within black studies, at the level of both departmentalformations and programs of study. Black women’s institutional work as well as intellectualinterventions in black studies departments remained understudied, devalued, or marginalized by thereigning black male theorists who deemed “race” to be the proper sphere of study.
Black feminist theorists, including Alice Walker, Gloria T. Hull, Patricia Bell Scott, BarbaraSmith, Cheryl Clarke, Audre Lorde, Toni Cade Bambara, and Angela Davis, among others, worked tofill in the lacunae created by the omission of black women from the historical narrative of blackstudies. Notably, more than a few of these early interventionists were lesbians who sought not only tocombat the sexism and homophobia within the Civil Rights and black studies movements, but also theracism and sexism within emergent women’s rights and feminist studies movements. Gloria T. Hull,Patricia Bell Scott, and Barbara Smith’s anthology, All the Women Are White, All the Blacks AreMen, But Some of Us Are Brave (1982), captures the status of black women within black studies andwomen’s studies in the early days of their disciplinary formations.Given the status of women (and class not lagging too far behind) within black studies, it is notsurprising that sexuality, and especially homosexuality, became not only a repressed site of studywithin the field, but also one with which the discourse was paradoxically preoccupied, if only todeny and disavow its place in the discursive sphere of black studies. On the one hand, the category of(homo)sexuality, like those of gender and class, remained necessarily subordinated to that of race inthe discourse of black studies, due principally to an identitarian politics aimed at forging a unifiedfront under racialized blackness. On the other hand, the privileging of a racialist discourse demandedthe deployment of a sexist and homophobic rhetoric in order to mark, by contrast, the priority of race.While black (heterosexual) women’s intellectual and community work were marginalized, if noterased, homosexuality was effectively “theorized” as a “white disease” that had “infected” the blackcommunity.2 In fact, sexuality as an object of discourse circulated mainly by way of defensivedisavowals of “sexual deviance,” frequently framed by outspoken heterosexual black maleintellectuals theorizing the “black male phallus” in relation to “the black (w)hole” and other priapicriffs sounding the legendary potency of the heterosexual black man or, alternatively, bewailing hishistorical emasculation at the hands of overbearing and domineering black women.3 It would be sometime, as Audre Lorde discovered in the bars of New York during her sexual awakening, before blackstudies would come “to realize that [its] place was the very house of difference rather than thesecurity of any one particular difference.”4Codified as a disciplinary discourse some twenty years later than black studies, queer studies—like black studies and feminist studies—emerged in the academy as the intellectual counterpart andcomponent of another activist movement, namely that of ACT-UP, an AIDS activist group, and itsoffshoot group Queer Nation. The political strategies of Queer Nation were strikingly similar to thoseemployed in the Civil Rights movement, in that in its aim to speak to and on behalf of the oppressionof sexual dissidents, other identity markers remained subordinated, if not erased. And, like theessentially identitarian politics propelling its political counterpart, queer studies/ theory tendedtoward totalization and homogenization as well. Again, however, interventions by feminist theoristslike Eve Sedgwick, Sue-Ellen Case, Diana Fuss, Teresa de Lauretis, and Judith Butler, to name a few,sought to correct queer theory’s myopia by broadening its analytic lens to include a focus on gender.5Whether queer theory “engenders” difference (gay vs. lesbian) or “ungenders” (“queers”) difference,it is not assured, according to social theorist Scott Bravmann, “that we will see the multiple socialdifferences which are always there right alongside of gender and which are themselves integral tosexual identities and the performativity of gender.”6 Further, as Lisa Duggan reminds us, “any gaypolitics based on the primacy of sexual identity defined as unitary and ‘essential,’ residing clearly,intelligibly and unalterably in the body or psyche, and fixing desire in a gendered direction, ultimatelyrepresents the view from the subject position ‘20th-century Western white gay male.’ “7 In other
words, essentialist identity politics often reinforces hegemonic power structures rather thandismantling them.Despite its theoretical and political shortcomings, queer studies, like black studies, disruptsdominant and hegemonic discourses by consistently destabilizing fixed notions of identity bydeconstructing binaries such as heterosexual/homosexual, gay/lesbian, and masculine/feminine aswell as the concept of heteronormativity in general. Given its currency in the academic marketplace,then, queer studies has the potential to transform how we theorize sexuality in conjunction with otheridentity formations.8 Yet, as some theorists have noted, the deconstruction of binaries and the explicit“unmarking” of difference (e.g., gender, race, class, region, able-bodiedness, etc.) have seriousimplications for those for whom these other differences “matter.”9 Lesbians, gays, bisexuals, andtransgendered people of color who are committed to the demise of oppression in its various forms,cannot afford to theorize their lives based on “single-variable” politics. As many of the essays in thisvolume demonstrate, to ignore the multiple subjectivities of the minoritarian subject within andwithout political movements and theoretical paradigms is not only theoretically and politically naive,but also potentially dangerous. In the context of an expansive American imperialism in which theseparation of church and state (if they ever really were separate) remains so only by the most tenuousmembrane and in which a sitting president homophobically refers to as “sinners” certain U.S. citizensseeking the protection of marriage, the so-called axis of evil is likely to cut across every identitycategory that is not marked white, Anglo-Saxon
outside in black studies: reading from a queer place in the diaspora notes the evidence of felt intuition: minority experience, everyday life, and critical speculative knowledge notes "quare" studies, or (almost) everything i know: about queer studies i learned from my grandmother "race trouble": queer studies or the study of white queers
Queer Sexuality: A Cultural Narrative of India’s Historical Archive Rohit K Dasgupta University of the Arts London Abstract This article is a brief historical overview of the Queer archive in India. The precolonial and colonial archive provides several possibilities for ‘authenticating’ the queer identity and claiming some of the history that modern nationalist homophobia seeks to wipe .
Film, Television, and Digital Media I t is a tragic coincidence that the Queer Caucus of the Society of Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) was asked to curate a spe-cial "In Focus" on current approaches in queer media studies at the same time that we were devastated by the news of Alexander Doty's untimely passing.
2.2 Judith Butler Butler, Judith. “Excerpt from Introduction” and “Critically Queer.” From Bodies that Matter: On the Discursive Limits of “Sex.” New York: Routledge, 1993. 1-16; 223-242; 243-249; 281-284. [In course-pack] Butler, Judith. “Imitation and Gender Insubordination.” The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader. Eds. Henry
the insights of queer theory to a study of Love's Martyr in which he presents, most radically, data that supports the once-outlandish theory that Shakespeare may have had a significant hand in editing works signed by Chester. It articulates 'queer analytics' - an approach to literary analysis that joins the non-normative close reading of queer
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Roden, 2 Co-editor with Patricia J. Smith and Lowell Gallagher, Catholic Figures, Queer Narratives (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). Love’s Trinity: A Companion to Julian of Norwich (Liturgical Press, 2009). Editor, Jewish/Christian/Queer: Crossroads and Identities (Ashgate, Queer Interventions Series, 2009). Co-editor (with Philip Healy), Marc-Andre Raffalovich, Uranism and Unisexuality: A Study of
Cleansed (1998) and 4.48 Psychosis (2000), contributing to the already existing discourse, giving new impulses to read her and other’s work in a contemporary way. 2 My analysis of these plays draws on queer performance theories and queer theory, as well as on contemporary queer experiences, including reflections on the scholarly approach to
Creating an economy that harnesses artificial intelligence (AI) and big data is one of the great opportunities of our age. This Sector Deal is the first commitment from government and industry to realise this technology’s potential, outlining a package of up to 0.95bn of support for the sector, which includes government, industry and academic contributions up to 603m in newly allocated .