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Lost Causes

Author: Valerie Rohy
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 019934020X
Size: 34.74 MB
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"Lost Causes stages a polemical intervention in the discourse that grounds queer civil rights in etiology -- that is, in the cause of homosexuality, whether choice, "recruitment," or biology. Reading etiology as a narrative form, political strategy, and hermeneutic method in American and British literature and popular culture, it argues that today's gay arguments for biological determinism accept their opponents' paranoia about what Rohy calls "homosexual reproduction"-that is, nonsexual forms of queer increase-preventing more complex ways of considering sexuality and causality. This study combines literary texts and psychoanalytic theory--two salient sources of etiological narratives in themselves -- to reconsider phobic tropes of homosexual reproduction: contagion in Borrowed Time, bad influence in The Picture of Dorian Gray, trauma in The Night Watch, choice of identity in James Weldon Johnson's Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, and dangerous knowledge in The Well of Loneliness. These readings draw on Lacan's notion of retroactive causality to convert the question of what causes homosexuality into a question of what homosexuality causes as the constitutive outside of a heteronormative symbolic order. Ultimately, this study shows, queer communities and queer theory must embrace formerly shaming terms -- why should the increase of homosexuality be unthinkable? -- while retaining the critical sense of queerness as a non-identity, a permanent negativity"--

Bad Objects

Author: Naomi Schor
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822316930
Size: 26.81 MB
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Bad objects are a contrarian’s delight. In this volume, leading French feminist theorist and literary critic Naomi Schor revisits some of feminist theory’s most widely discredited objects, essentialism and universalism, with surprising results. Bilingual and bicultural, she reveals the national character of contemporary theories that are usually received as beyond borders, while making a strong argument for feminist theory’s specific claims to universalism. Written in a distinctive personal and self-reflective mode, this collection offers new unpublished work and brings together for the first time some of Schor’s best-known and most influential essays. These engagements with Anglo-American feminist theory, Freud and psychoanalytic theory, French poststructuralists such as Barthes, Foucault, and Irigaray, and French fiction by or about women—especially of the nineteenth century—also address such issues as bilingual identity, professional controversies, female fetishism, and literature and gender. Schor then concludes with a provocative meditation on the future of feminism. As they read Bad Objects, Anglo-American theoreticians who have been mainly preoccupied with French feminism will find themselves drawn into French literary and cultural history, while French literary critics and historians will be placed in contact with feminist debate.

Impossible Women

Author: Valerie Rohy
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801486388
Size: 52.50 MB
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Impossible Women fills a critical gap in queer theory by spotlighting representations of lesbian sexuality in nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature. Reading through the lens of feminist and psychoanalytic theory, Valerie Rohy considers texts by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Kate Chopin, Henry James, Zora Neale Hurston, Ernest Hemingway, and Elizabeth Bishop.Addressing American ideologies of reproduction and representation, Impossible Women suggests that lesbian figures are made to symbolize both the unrepresentable and the failures of meaning inherent in language. Rohy traces the ways lesbian sexuality—relegated to the domain of the ineffable, yet endlessly subject to inscription—appears in tropes of transference and displacement, the disembodied voice, repetition-compulsion, and the uncanny. Impossible Women also asks what cultural work such figures perform, locating lesbian desire in American literary history and engaging issues of genre and narrative, social formations such as the rhetoric of the "New Woman," and intersections of racism, sexism, and homophobia.

No Future

Author: Lee Edelman
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822385988
Size: 11.81 MB
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In this searing polemic, Lee Edelman outlines a radically uncompromising new ethics of queer theory. His main target is the all-pervasive figure of the child, which he reads as the linchpin of our universal politics of “reproductive futurism.” Edelman argues that the child, understood as innocence in need of protection, represents the possibility of the future against which the queer is positioned as the embodiment of a relentlessly narcissistic, antisocial, and future-negating drive. He boldly insists that the efficacy of queerness lies in its very willingness to embrace this refusal of the social and political order. In No Future, Edelman urges queers to abandon the stance of accommodation and accede to their status as figures for the force of a negativity that he links with irony, jouissance, and, ultimately, the death drive itself. Closely engaging with literary texts, Edelman makes a compelling case for imagining Scrooge without Tiny Tim and Silas Marner without little Eppie. Looking to Alfred Hitchcock’s films, he embraces two of the director’s most notorious creations: the sadistic Leonard of North by Northwest, who steps on the hand that holds the couple precariously above the abyss, and the terrifying title figures of The Birds, with their predilection for children. Edelman enlarges the reach of contemporary psychoanalytic theory as he brings it to bear not only on works of literature and film but also on such current political flashpoints as gay marriage and gay parenting. Throwing down the theoretical gauntlet, No Future reimagines queerness with a passion certain to spark an equally impassioned debate among its readers.

Queer Experimental Literature

Author: Tyler Bradway
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 1137595434
Size: 65.47 MB
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This volume argues that postwar writers queer the affective relations of reading through experiments with literary form. Tyler Bradway conceptualizes “bad reading” as an affective politics that stimulates queer relations of erotic and political belonging in the event of reading. These incipiently social relations press back against legal, economic, and discursive forces that reduce queerness into a mode of individuality. Each chapter traces the affective politics of bad reading against moments when queer relationality is prohibited, obstructed, or destroyed—from the pre-Stonewall literary obscenity debates, through the AIDS crisis, to the emergence of neoliberal homonormativity and the gentrification of the queer avant-garde. Bradway contests the common narrative that experimental writing is too formalist to engender a mode of social imagination. Instead, he illuminates how queer experimental literature uses form to redraw the affective and social relations that structure the heteronormative public sphere. Through close readings informed by affect theory, Queer Experimental Literature offers new perspectives on writers such as William S. Burroughs, Samuel R. Delany, Kathy Acker, Jeanette Winterson, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Alison Bechdel, and Chuck Palahniuk. Queer Experimental Literature ultimately reveals that the recent turn to affective reading in literary studies is underwritten by a para-academic history of bad reading that offers new idioms for understanding the affective agencies of queer aesthetics.

French Theory

Author: François Cusset
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 0816647321
Size: 47.98 MB
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Explores how the French theory of philosophy, which became popular during the last three decades of the twentieth century, spread to America and examines the critical practices that French theory inspired.

Greek Homosexuality

Author: Kenneth James Dover
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674362703
Size: 50.56 MB
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To what extent and in what ways was homosexuality approved by the ancient Greeks? An eminent classicist examines the evidence--vase paintings, archaic and classical poetry, the dialogues of Plato, speeches in the law courts, the comedies of Aristophanes--and reaches provocative conclusions. A discussion of female homosexuality is included.

Time Binds

Author: Elizabeth Freeman
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822348047
Size: 39.24 MB
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By foregrounding bodily pleasure in the experience of time and its representation in queer literature, film, video, and art, Elizabeth Freeman challenges queer theory s recent emphasis on loss and trauma.

Whipping Girl

Author: Julia Serano
Publisher: Seal Press
ISBN: 1580056237
Size: 77.80 MB
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In the updated second edition of Whipping Girl, Julia Serano, a transsexual woman whose supremely intelligent writing reflects her background as a lesbian transgender activist and professional biologist, shares her powerful experiences and observations—both pre- and post-transition—to reveal the ways in which fear, suspicion, and dismissiveness toward femininity shape our societal attitudes toward trans women, as well as gender and sexuality as a whole. Serano's well-honed arguments and reputation as a thought-leader stem from her ability to bridge the gap between the often-disparate biological and social perspectives on gender. In this provocative manifesto, she exposes how deep-rooted the cultural belief is that femininity is frivolous, weak, and passive, and how this “feminine” weakness exists only to attract and appease male desire. In addition to debunking popular misconceptions about transsexuality, Serano makes the case that today's feminists and transgender activists must work to embrace and empower femininity—in all of its wondrous forms.