Thursday, April 16, 2015

Queer: Constructions & Negations

I have continually run into the same issue while working on my thesis with my advisor. She is always a proponent of a constructivist approach, simply saying what something is rather than what it is not. It poses quite a challenge when working with queerness, which in many ways is premised on being not something else. It's been tough to try to articular what queer bodies, temporalities, and spatialities are rather than just talking about them as resistant to the social and political organizations of bodies, time, and space in Western nationalism and capitalism.

I came across "Theorizing Queer Temporalities: A Roundtable Discussion" which was published in GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies. I found it helpful just for building a vocabulary around some of the theory I've been working with. The focus on temporalities is perhaps a bit specific for trying to understand queer theory as a whole (if that's even possible), but it does touch on a few of the things that came up in our discussion of queer theory in class yesterday, including the relationship between representation and embodiment and relationships to histories.  It's fascinating to think about how history continues to act on the present in this way. I also appreciated Annamarie Jagose's comment on page 191 about how reorganizing time to be cyclical and multilayered does not necessarily work in the service of queerness. Jagose also wrote a book called Queer Theory: An Introduction, that I have found to be very helpful and accessible (I actually found it because Eaklor cites it during in "Debate: How Useful Is Queer Theory?" at the end of Chapter 9 of Queer America).

1 comment:

  1. Wait this article is amazing. Also, I'm very interested in the whole constructivist/positive practice of defining queer. How do we talk about marginalized, elided groups without reinforcing their other-ed position? I'm curious to hear about what you come up with in your thesis - do you discuss performativity at all?