Queer Phenomenology

Author: Sara Ahmed
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822388074
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.

Queer Phenomenology

Author: Sara Ahmed
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822339145
Release Date: 2006-12-04
Genre: Literary Criticism

Cultural theorist Sara Ahmed demonstrates how queer studies can put phenomenology to productive use by analyzing what it means for bodies to be "oriented" in space and time.

The Queer Art of Failure

Author: Judith Halberstam
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822350453
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.

Cultural Politics of Emotion

Author: Sara Ahmed
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
ISBN: 9780748691159
Release Date: 2014-06-11
Genre: Philosophy

A bold exploration of the relationship between emotions and politics, through case studies on international terrorism, asylum, migration, reconciliation and reparation. Develops a theory of how emotions work and their effects on our daily lives.

Differences that Matter

Author: Sara Ahmed
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521597617
Release Date: 1998-11-26
Genre: History

Differences That Matter challenges existing ways of theorising the relationship between feminism and postmodernism which ask 'is or should feminism be modern or postmodern?' Sara Ahmed suggests that postmodernism has been allowed to dictate feminist debates and calls instead for feminist theorists to speak (back) to postmodernism, rather than simply speak on (their relationship to) it. Such a 'speaking back' involves a refusal to position postmodernism as a generalisable condition of the world and requires closer readings of what postmodernism is actually 'doing' in a variety of disciplinary contexts. Sara Ahmed hence examines constructions of postmodernism in relation to rights, ethics, subjectivity, authorship, meta-fiction and film.

Cruising Utopia

Author: José Esteban Muñoz
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814796001
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.

Object Lessons

Author: Robyn Wiegman
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822351603
Release Date: 2012-01-11
Genre: Literary Criticism

A passionate advocate of identity studies and a keen reader of U.S. institutional politics, Robyn Wiegman turns her attention in Object Lessons to the critical practices and political ambitions of identity-based fields. In a series of case studies drawn from women s studies, queer studies, ethnic studies, and American studies, she examines the unspoken belief that better theory will produce progressive social change in order to consider the political desire that fuels current scholarly debate. Her metacritical analysis is neither a defense nor a dismissal of such political commitment but a sustained inquiry into the hope it generates, the thinking it inspires, and the conformity it inadvertently demands.

Willful Subjects

Author: Sara Ahmed
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822376101
Release Date: 2014-07-28
Genre: Social Science

In Willful Subjects Sara Ahmed explores willfulness as a charge often made by some against others. One history of will is a history of attempts to eliminate willfulness from the will. Delving into philosophical and literary texts, Ahmed examines the relation between will and willfulness, ill will and good will, and the particular will and general will. Her reflections shed light on how will is embedded in a political and cultural landscape, how it is embodied, and how will and willfulness are socially mediated. Attentive to the wayward, the wandering, and the deviant, Ahmed considers how willfulness is taken up by those who have received its charge. Grounded in feminist, queer, and antiracist politics, her sui generis analysis of the willful subject, the figure who wills wrongly or wills too much, suggests that willfulness might be required to recover from the attempt at its elimination.

The Promise of Happiness

Author: Sara Ahmed
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822392781
Release Date: 2010-03-16
Genre: Philosophy

The Promise of Happiness is a provocative cultural critique of the imperative to be happy. It asks what follows when we make our desires and even our own happiness conditional on the happiness of others: “I just want you to be happy”; “I’m happy if you’re happy.” Combining philosophy and feminist cultural studies, Sara Ahmed reveals the affective and moral work performed by the “happiness duty,” the expectation that we will be made happy by taking part in that which is deemed good, and that by being happy ourselves, we will make others happy. Ahmed maintains that happiness is a promise that directs us toward certain life choices and away from others. Happiness is promised to those willing to live their lives in the right way. Ahmed draws on the intellectual history of happiness, from classical accounts of ethics as the good life, through seventeenth-century writings on affect and the passions, eighteenth-century debates on virtue and education, and nineteenth-century utilitarianism. She engages with feminist, antiracist, and queer critics who have shown how happiness is used to justify social oppression, and how challenging oppression causes unhappiness. Reading novels and films including Mrs. Dalloway, The Well of Loneliness, Bend It Like Beckham, and Children of Men, Ahmed considers the plight of the figures who challenge and are challenged by the attribution of happiness to particular objects or social ideals: the feminist killjoy, the unhappy queer, the angry black woman, and the melancholic migrant. Through her readings she raises critical questions about the moral order imposed by the injunction to be happy.

Terrorist Assemblages

Author: Jasbir K. Puar
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822371755
Release Date: 2017-12-08
Genre: Social Science

Tenth Anniversary Expanded Edition Ten years on, Jasbir K. Puar’s pathbreaking Terrorist Assemblages remains one of the most influential queer theory texts and continues to reverberate across multiple political landscapes, activist projects, and scholarly pursuits. Puar argues that configurations of sexuality, race, gender, nation, class, and ethnicity are realigning in relation to contemporary forces of securitization, counterterrorism, and nationalism. She examines how liberal politics incorporate certain queer subjects into the fold of the nation-state, shifting queers from their construction as figures of death to subjects tied to ideas of life and productivity. This tenuous inclusion of some queer subjects depends, however, on the production of populations of Orientalized terrorist bodies. Heteronormative ideologies that the U.S. nation-state has long relied on are now accompanied by what Puar calls homonationalism—a fusing of homosexuality to U.S. pro-war, pro-imperialist agendas. As a concept and tool of biopolitical management, homonationalism is here to stay. Puar’s incisive analyses of feminist and queer responses to the Abu Ghraib photographs, the decriminalization of sodomy in the wake of the Patriot Act, and the profiling of Sikh Americans and South Asian diasporic queers are not instances of a particular historical moment; rather, they are reflective of the dynamics saturating power, sexuality, race, and politics today. This Tenth Anniversary Expanded Edition features a new foreword by Tavia Nyong’o and a postscript by Puar entitled “Homonationalism in Trump Times.” Nyong’o and Puar recontextualize the book in light of the current political moment while reposing its original questions to illuminate how Puar’s interventions are even more vital and necessary than ever.

A Genealogy of Queer Theory

Author: William Benjamin Turner
Publisher: Temple University Press
ISBN: 1566397871
Release Date: 2000
Genre: History

Who are queers and what do they want? Could it be that we are all queers? Beginning with such questions, William B. Turner's lucid and engaging book traces the roots of queer theory to the growing awareness that few of us precisely fit standard categories for sexual and gender identity. Turner shows how Michal Foucault's work contributed to feminists' investigations into the ways that power relates to identity. In the last decades of the twentieth century, feminists were the first to challenge the assumption that a claim to universal identity -- the white male citizen -- should serve as the foundation of political thought and action. Difference matters. Race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality interact, producing a wide array of identities that resist rigid definition and are mutable. By understanding the notion of transhistorical categories -- woman, man, homosexual, and so forth -- feminist and gay male scholars launched queer theoretical work as a new way to think about the politics of gender and sexuality. A Geneology of Queer Theory probes the fierce debates among scholars and activists, weighing the charges that queer readings of texts and identity politics do not constitute and might inhibit radical social change. Written by a historian, it considers the implications of queer theory for historical inquiry and the distinction between philosophy and history. As such, the book will interest readers of gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender studies, intellectual history, political theory, and the history of gender/sexuality.

Feminist Phenomenology

Author: Linda Fisher
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9789401594882
Release Date: 2013-04-17
Genre: Philosophy

This volume is composed chiefly of papers first presented and discussed at the Research Symposium on Feminist Phenomenology held November 18-19, 1994 in Delray Beach, Florida. Those papers have been revised and expanded for publication in the present volume and several essays have been added. We would like to thank very much all the participants in the symposium, including the session chairs and others in attendance, whose interest and enthusiasm contributed greatly. The symposium and this volume, including the name for it, were conceived of by Lester Embree, who also arranged sponsorship, local arrangements, and publication through the William F. Dietrich Eminent Scholar Chair at Florida Atlantic University and the Center for Advanced Research in Phenomenology, Inc. The invitees were decided upon jointly. Linda Fisher has been chiefly responsible for the editing and the preparation of the camera-ready copy. Linda Fisher Lester Embree Acknowledgments The editing and preparation of this volume has spanned several cities and two continents and I am indebted to many people from each place.

Queering the Color Line

Author: Siobhan B. Somerville
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822324431
Release Date: 2000-01
Genre: Psychology

The interconnected constructions of race and sexuality at the turn of the century.

Strange Encounters

Author: Sara Ahmed
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781135120115
Release Date: 2013-02-01
Genre: Social Science

Examining the relationship between strangers, embodiment and community, Strange Encounters challenges the assumptions that the stranger is simply anybody we do not recognize and instead proposes that he or she is socially constructued as somebody we already know. Using feminist and postcolonial theory this book examines the impact of multiculturalism and globalization on embodiment and community whilst considering the ethical and political implication of its critique for post-colonial feminism. A diverse range of texts are analyzed which produce the figure of 'the stranger', showing that it has alternatively been expelled as the origin of danger - such as in neighbourhood watch, or celebrated as the origin of difference - as in multiculturalism. The author argues that both of these standpoints are problematic as they involve 'stranger fetishism'; they assume that the stranger 'has a life of its own'.

On Being Included

Author: Sara Ahmed
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822352365
Release Date: 2012-03-28
Genre: Social Science

Ahmed argues that a commitment to diversity is frequently substituted for a commitment to actual change. She traces the work that diversity does, examining how the term is used and the way it serves to make questions about racism seem impertinent. Her study is based in universities and her research is primarily in the UK and Australia, but the argument is equally valid in North America and beyond.