Author: José Esteban Muñoz
Publisher: NYU Press
Release Date: 2009-11-01
Genre: Social Science
The LGBT agenda for too long has been dominated by pragmatic issues like same-sex marriage and gays in the military. It has been stifled by this myopic focus on the present, which is short-sighted and assimilationist. Cruising Utopia seeks to break the present stagnancy by cruising ahead. Drawing on the work of Ernst Bloch, José Esteban Muñoz recalls the queer past for guidance in presaging its future. He considers the work of seminal artists and writers such as Andy Warhol, LeRoi Jones, Frank O’Hara, Ray Johnson, Fred Herko, Samuel Delany, and Elizabeth Bishop, alongside contemporary performance and visual artists like Dynasty Handbag, My Barbarian, Luke Dowd, Tony Just, and Kevin McCarty in order to decipher the anticipatory illumination of art and its uncanny ability to open windows to the future. In a startling repudiation of what the LGBT movement has held dear, Muñoz contends that queerness is instead a futurity bound phenomenon, a "not yet here" that critically engages pragmatic presentism. Part manifesto, part love-letter to the past and the future, Cruising Utopia argues that the here and now are not enough and issues an urgent call for the revivification of the queer political imagination.
What is the price of a limb? A child? Ethnicity? Love? In a world that is often ruled by buyers and sellers, those things that are often considered priceless become objects to be marketed and from which to earn a profit. Ranging from black market babies to exploitative sex trade operations to the marketing of race and culture, Rethinking Commodification presents an interdisciplinary collection of writings, including legal theory, case law, and original essays to reexamine the traditional legal question: ?To commodify or not to commodify?” In this pathbreaking course reader, Martha M. Ertman and Joan C. Williams present the legal cases and theories that laid the groundwork for traditional critiques of commodification, which tend to view the process as dehumanizing because it reduces all human interactions to economic transactions. This “canonical” section is followed by a selection of original essays that present alternative views of commodification based on the concept that commodification can have diverse meanings in a variety of social contexts. When viewed in this way, the commodification debate moves beyond whether or not commodification is good or bad, and is assessed instead on the quality of the social relationships and wider context that is involved in the transaction. Rethinking Commodification contains an excellent array of contemporary issues, including intellectual property, reparations for slavery, organ transplants, and sex work; and an equally stellar array of contributors, including Richard Posner, Margaret Jane Radin, Regina Austin, and many others.
Author: Judith Halberstam
Publisher: Duke University Press
Release Date: 2011-09-19
Genre: Performing Arts
The Queer Art of Failure is about finding alternatives - to conventional understandings of success in a heteronormative, capitalist society; to academic disciplines that confirm what is already known according to approved methods of knowing; and to cultural criticism that has extensively theorized hegemony but paid little attention to counter-hegemony. Judith Halberstam proposes "low theory" as a means of recovering ways of being and forms of knowledge not legitimized by existing systems and institutions. Low theory is derived from eccentric archives. It runs the risk of not being taken seriously. It entails a willingness to fail and to lose one's way. Tacking back and forth between high theory and low theory, high culture and low culture, Halberstam looks for the unexpected and subversive in popular culture, avant-garde performance, and queer art. She pays particular attention to animated children's films, contending that new forms of animation, especially CGI, have generated narratives filled with unexpected encounters between the childish, the transformative, and the queer. Dismantling contemporary logics of success, Halberstam demonstrates that failure sometimes offers more creative, cooperative, and surprising ways of being in the world.
Author: José Esteban Muñoz
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
Release Date: 1999
Genre: Social Science
There is more to identity than identifying with one's culture or standing solidly against it. Jose Esteban Munoz looks at how those outside the racial and sexual mainstream negotiate majority culture -- not by aligning themselves with or against exclusionary works but rather by transforming these works for their own cultural purposes. Munoz calls this process "disidentification, " and through a study of its workings, he develops a new perspective on minority performance, survival, and activism. Disidentifications is also something of a performance in its own right, an attempt to fashion a queer world by working on, with, and against dominant ideology. Whether examining the process of identification in the work of filmmakers, performance artists, ethnographers, Cuban choteo, forms of gay male mass culture (such as pornography), museums, art photography, camp and drag, or television, Munoz persistently points to the intersecting and short-circuiting of identities and desires that result from misalignments with the cultural and ideological mainstream in contemporary urban America. Munoz calls attention to the world-making properties found in performances by queers of color -- in Carmelita Tropicana's "Camp/Choteo" style politics, Marga Gomez's performances of queer childhood, Vaginal Creme Davis's "Terrorist Drag, " Isaac Julien's critical melancholia, Jean-Michel Basquiat's disidentification with Andy Warhol and pop art, Felix Gonzalez-Torres's performances of "disidentity, " and the political performance of Pedro Zamora, with AIDS, within the otherwise artificial a person environment of the MTV serial The Real World.
Author: Sara Ahmed
Publisher: Duke University Press
Release Date: 2006-11-13
Genre: Social Science
In this groundbreaking work, Sara Ahmed demonstrates how queer studies can put phenomenology to productive use. Focusing on the “orientation” aspect of “sexual orientation” and the “orient” in “orientalism,” Ahmed examines what it means for bodies to be situated in space and time. Bodies take shape as they move through the world directing themselves toward or away from objects and others. Being “orientated” means feeling at home, knowing where one stands, or having certain objects within reach. Orientations affect what is proximate to the body or what can be reached. A queer phenomenology, Ahmed contends, reveals how social relations are arranged spatially, how queerness disrupts and reorders these relations by not following the accepted paths, and how a politics of disorientation puts other objects within reach, those that might, at first glance, seem awry. Ahmed proposes that a queer phenomenology might investigate not only how the concept of orientation is informed by phenomenology but also the orientation of phenomenology itself. Thus she reflects on the significance of the objects that appear—and those that do not—as signs of orientation in classic phenomenological texts such as Husserl’s Ideas. In developing a queer model of orientations, she combines readings of phenomenological texts—by Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Fanon—with insights drawn from queer studies, feminist theory, critical race theory, Marxism, and psychoanalysis. Queer Phenomenology points queer theory in bold new directions.
This book acknowledges and highlights the moral excellence embedded in black queer practices of family. Taking the lives, narratives, and creative explorations of black queer people seriously, Thelathia Nikki Young brings readers on a journey of new, queer ethical methods that include confrontation, resistance, and imagination. Young asserts that family and its surrounding norms are both microcosms of and foundations for human relationships. She discusses how black queer people are moral subjects whose ethical reflection, lived experience, and embodied action demonstrate valuable moral agency for those of us thinking about liberating and life-giving ways to enact “family.” Young posits that black queer people enact moral agency in ways that ought to be understood qua moral agency. Refusing to recognize the examples from this (and any other) community, Young argues, denies us all the learning and moral growth that come from connecting with diverse human experiences. This book investigates how acknowledging and critically engaging with the moral agency within marginalized subjectivities allow us to consider and bear witness to the moral potential in us all.
Author: Juana María Rodríguez
Publisher: NYU Press
Release Date: 2014-07-25
Genre: Social Science
Winner of the Alan Bray Memorial Book Prize presented by the GL/Q Caucus of the Modern Language Association Finalist for the 2015 LGBT Studies Award presented by the Lambda Literary Foundation Sexual Futures, Queer Gestures and Other Latina Longings proposes a theory of sexual politics that works in the interstices between radical queer desires and the urgency of transforming public policy, between utopian longings and everyday failures. Considering the ways in which bodily movement is assigned cultural meaning, Juana María Rodríguez takes the stereotypes of the hyperbolically gestural queer Latina femme body as a starting point from which to discuss how gestures and forms of embodiment inform sexual pleasures and practices in the social realm. Centered on the sexuality of racialized queer female subjects, the book’s varied archive—which includes burlesque border crossings, daddy play, pornography, sodomy laws, and sovereignty claims—seeks to bring to the fore alternative sexual practices and machinations that exist outside the sightlines of mainstream cosmopolitan gay male culture. Situating articulations of sexual subjectivity between the interpretive poles of law and performance, Rodríguez argues that forms of agency continually mediate among these various structures of legibility—the rigid confines of the law and the imaginative possibilities of the performative. She reads the strategies of Puerto Rican activists working toward self-determination alongside sexual performances on stage, in commercial pornography, in multi-media installations, on the dance floor, and in the bedroom. Rodríguez examines not only how projections of racialized sex erupt onto various discursive mediums but also how the confluence of racial and gendered anxieties seeps into the gestures and utterances of sexual acts, kinship structures, and activist practices. Ultimately, Sexual Futures, Queer Gestures, and Other Latina Longings reveals —in lyrical style and explicit detail—how sex has been deployed in contemporary queer communities in order to radically reconceptualize sexual politics.
Author: Rebekah J. Kowal
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2017-02-01
In recent decades, dance has become a vehicle for querying assumptions about what it means to be embodied, in turn illuminating intersections among the political, the social, the aesthetical, and the phenomenological. The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Politics edited by internationally lauded scholars Rebekah Kowal, Gerald Siegmund, and the late Randy Martin presents a compendium of newly-commissioned chapters that address the interdisciplinary and global scope of dance theory - its political philosophy, social movements, and approaches to bodily difference such as disability, postcolonial, and critical race and queer studies. In six sections 30 of the most prestigious dance scholars in the US and Europe track the political economy of dance and analyze the political dimensions of choreography, of writing history, and of embodied phenomena in general. Employing years of intimate knowledge of dance and its cultural phenomenology, scholars urge readers to re-think dominant cultural codes, their usages, and the meaning they produce and theorize ways dance may help to re-signify and to re-negotiate established cultural practices and their inherent power relations. This handbook poses ever-present questions about dance politics-which aspects or effects of a dance can be considered political? What possibilities and understandings of politics are disclosed through dance? How does a particular dance articulate or undermine forces of authority? How might dance relate to emancipation or bondage of the body? Where and how can dance articulate social movements, represent or challenge political institutions, or offer insight into habits of labor and leisure? The handbook opens its critical terms in two directions. First, it offers an elaborated understanding of how dance achieves its politics. Second, it illustrates how notions of the political are themselves expanded when viewed from the perspective of dance, thus addressing both the relationship between the politics in dance and the politics of dance. Using the most sophisticated theoretical frameworks and engaging with the problematics that come from philosophy, social science, history, and the humanities, chapters explore the affinities, affiliations, concepts, and critiques that are inherent in the act of dance, and questions about matters political that dance makes legible.
Author: Jill Dolan
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Release Date: 2010-02-05
"Jill Dolan is the theatre's most astute critic, and this new book is perhaps her most important. Utopia in Performance argues with eloquence and insight how theatre makes a difference, and in the process demonstrates that scholarship matters, too. It is a book that readers will cherish and hold close as a personal favorite, and that scholars will cite for years to come." ---David Román, University of Southern California What is it about performance that draws people to sit and listen attentively in a theater, hoping to be moved and provoked, challenged and comforted? In Utopia in Performance, Jill Dolan traces the sense of visceral, emotional, and social connection that we experience at such times, connections that allow us to feel for a moment not what a better world might look like, but what it might feel like, and how that hopeful utopic sentiment might become motivation for social change. She traces these "utopian performatives" in a range of performances, including the solo performances of feminist artists Holly Hughes, Deb Margolin, and Peggy Shaw; multicharacter solo performances by Lily Tomlin, Danny Hoch, and Anna Deavere Smith; the slam poetry event Def Poetry Jam; The Laramie Project; Blanket, a performance by postmodern choreographer Ann Carlson; Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman; and Deborah Warner's production of Medea starring Fiona Shaw. While the book richly captures moments of "feeling utopia" found within specific performances, it also celebrates the broad potential that performance has to provide a forum for being human together; for feeling love, hope, and commonality in particular and historical (rather than universal and transcendent) ways.
Cinema might not be able to help heal a broken nation but it can definitely help revisit a nation’s past, reframe its present and re-imagine its future. This is the first book-length study on what has become an internationally acclaimed strand in contemporary Greek cinema. Psaras examines how this particular trend can be thought of as an integral aesthetic response to the infamous Greek crisis, illuminating its fundamental ideological aspects by means of a queer critique of national politics. Drawing on a wide range of methodological approaches from queer theory, film theory, ethical philosophy and psychoanalysis, this volume sheds light on the way the Greek Weird Wave challenges, deconstructs and re-imagines traditional notions of Greekness, the Greek nation and the Greek patriarchal family. This is achieved through close textual analysis of the subversive thematics and idiosyncratic forms of six films made by some of the best-known and most celebrated contemporary Greek directors including Dogtooth (2009) and Alps (2011) by Yorgos Lanthimos, Strella (2009) by Panos H. Koutras, and Attenberg (2010) by Athina-Rachel Tsangaris.
A queer theory of visual art - based on extensive readings of art works Queer Art traces the question of how strategies of denormalization initiated by visual arts can be continued through writing. In the book's three chapters art theoretical debates are combined with queer theory, post-colonial theory, and (dis-)ability studies, proposing the three terms radical drag, transtemporal drag, and abstract drag. The works discussed include those by Zoe Leonard, Shinique Smith, Jack Smith, Wu Ingrid Tsang, Ron Vawter, Bob Flanagan, Henrik Olesen, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Sharon Hayes, and Pauline Boudry/Renate Lorenz.
Author: J. Rohrer
Release Date: 2014-09-21
Genre: Political Science
The book from the interdisciplinary fields of queer theory, critical race theory, feminist political theory, disability studies, and indigenous studies to demonstrate that analyzing contemporary notions of citizenship requires understanding the machinations of governmentality and biopolitics in the (re)production of the proper citizen.
The belief of many in the early sexual liberation movements was that capitalism’s investment in the norms of the heterosexual family meant that any challenge to them was invariably anti-capitalist. In recent years, however, lesbian and gay subcultures have become increasingly mainstream and commercialized — as seen, for example, in corporate backing for pride events — while the initial radicalism of sexual liberation has given way to relatively conservative goals over marriage and adoption rights. Meanwhile, queer theory has critiqued this ‘homonormativity’, or assimilation, as if some act of betrayal had occurred. In Sex, Needs and Queer Culture, David Alderson seeks to account for these shifts in both queer movements and the wider society, and argues powerfully for a distinctive theoretical framework. Through a critical reassessment of the work of Herbert Marcuse, as well as the cultural theorists Raymond Williams and Alan Sinfield, Alderson asks whether capitalism is progressive for queers, evaluates the distinctive radicalism of the counterculture as it has mutated into queer, and distinguishes between avant-garde protest and subcultural development. In doing so, the book offers new directions for thinking about sexuality and its relations to the broader project of human liberation.