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The lyric habits developed by Wyatt can be traced into the twenty-first century, where they also structure a series of erotic addresses to a detainee in Guantánamo Bay by the American poet Rob Halpern. Halpern’s book Common Place shows how the attempt to project a loving relation into the military prison can become complicit in the erotic objectification of the other. Constraining himself through the act of transcribing the autopsy report released by the US military following the detainee’s suicide, Halpern’s queer subject appropriates an absent victim who has been hunted down and trapped by the sovereign. And while he attempts to oppose erotic love to militarised violence in order to imagine the possibility of relation at the site where relation is banned, his book objectifies the inaccessible beloved in ways that resemble Wyatt’s politicised negotiations with the Petrarchan tradition. The continuities between Wyatt and Halpern are exemplified by the collar or ligature wrapped around the neck of Wyatt’s hind, and of the detainee.
Mary Pat Brady’s chapter poses an alternative approach to hemispheric fiction by reading not according the scales of concentric geometries of space (local, regional, national, transnational), but instead reconceptualizing what she terms “pluriversal novels of the 21st century.” She argues for attending to the complexly mixed temporalities, perspectives, and languages of novels that reject the dualism of monoworlds (center/periphery) for the unpredictability of stories anchored in multiple space-times. While this is not an exclusively 21st-century phenomenon, she shows that pluriveral fiction has flourished recently, as works by Linda Hogan, Jennine Capó Crucet, Julia Alvarez, Gabby Rivera, Karen Tei Yamashita, Ana-Maurine Lara, and Evelina Zuni Lucero demonstrate.
This chapter considers the ways in which Gothic as a mode interacts with queer history generally and with the history of AIDS and queer communities more specifically within late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century contexts. This chapter examines the elision of the histories of Gothic, AIDS and queer sexuality in four texts that marked different stages of the evolution of the AIDS discourse. The first half of the chapter focuses on individual and collective community trauma in the first decade of the AIDS pandemic as represented in Tony Scott’s 1983 arthouse vampire film The Hunger and Todd Haynes’s 1991 seminal New Queer Cinema triptych, Poison. The second half of this chapter considers the ongoing haunting from the first decade of AIDS trauma in the face of a devastating disease and the initial scapegoating of the queer community as the site of contagion. These hauntings are depicted in John Greyson’s 1993 AIDS musical satire, Zero Patience and Lilly and Lana Wachowski and J. Michael Straczynski’s 2015–18 trans-genre television show, Sense8.
In this chapter, we examine how women of diverse genders and sexualities speak about their relationships with animal companions. Drawing on an interview study, this chapter argues that for many women, loving relationships with animals highlight the tension between enmeshment and irreducibility. On the one hand, the women interviewed spoke about the genuine love and affection they experience with animal companions. This love was ‘more-than-human’, even if at the same time accounts of love were often framed in human terms. On the other hand, when speaking about the loss of an animal companion, the women interviewed acknowledged that the irreducibility of human and animal lives to one another meant that their grief was often not acknowledged. This chapter asks the question, then, of what it means to love an animal, knowing that humans are likely to outlive most domesticated animals and that the death of an animal is rarely seen as significant by other humans. How women of diverse genders and sexualities make sense of this question, this chapter argues, speaks to how being situated at the margins of intelligibility in terms of gender or sexuality affords women the space to think about the intelligibility or grievability of love for animal companions.
“Intimacies and Animacies: Queer Ecologies in Asian American Literature” interrogates ideologies that define and govern notions of gender, race, bodies, and nature in Nora Okja Keller’s Comfort Woman and Shani Mootoo’s Cereus Blooms at Night. This chapter explores not only how culturally constructed concepts of filth, decay, and normalcy are mobilized against certain subject positions, but the ways in which these marginalized subjects survive through a radical affiliation and re-orientation to more-than-human natures. Drawing on queer theory’s commitment to destabilizing ideological institutions that structure normative gender and sexual relations, and ecofeminism’s attention to how patriarchal structures overlay the commodification and exploitation of the natural world, this chapter explores the ways these Asian North American authors theorize human-nature relationships in opposition to logics of domination and violence. Suggesting that the fecund, chaotic domicile of Mala Ramchandin in Cereus Blooms at Night offers an articulation of queer space and reading the ingestion of soil, earth, and dust by Comfort Woman’s Kim Soon Hyo as queer incorporation, this chapter examines the oppositional orientations to subjectivity and place that these texts offer.
This chapter explores what is called a queer racial formalism. The narrative construct analyzed here involves intergenerational family sagas, a queer Asian North American character, and a heritage plot. This chapter investigates three variations of this narrative construct by engaging in short readings of Norman Wong’s Cultural Revolution (1994), Brian Leung’s Lost Men (2007), and Rahul Mehta’s No Other World (2017).
This chapter examines contemporary queer Asian American literature’s persistent and pervasive critiques of the Asian American family’s disciplining of nonnormative genders and sexualities, on the one hand, and mainstream LGBTQ formations’ anti-Asian racism, on the other. In tracking these dual modes of critique, the chapter suggests that the queer Asian American subject’s displacement from both model minority heteronormativity and queer liberal homonormativity implies that it cannot be enfolded into and conscripted to serve the ideology of US imperial sexual exceptionalism. In consequence, queer Asian American literature has had to imagine and lay claim to alternative forms of belonging, whether by documenting queer people of color spaces and socialities or by inserting queer presences into conventional Asian/American histories.
This article explores how hope and visions of the future have left their mark on media discourse in Turkey. Looking back at some of the events that took place in the 1980s, a decade that was shaped by the aftermath of the 1980 coup d’état, and considering them alongside what has happened since the ban of Istanbul’s Pride march in 2015, it examines traces of hope in two periods of recent Turkish history characterized by authoritarianism. Drawing on an array of visual and textual material drawn from the tabloid press, magazines, newspapers, and digital platforms, it inquires into how queer hope manages to infiltrate mediated publics even in times of pessimism and hopelessness. Based upon analysis of an archive of discourses on resistance, solidarity, and future, it argues that queer hope not only helps to map out possible future routes for queer lives in (and beyond) Turkey, but also operates as a driving political force that sustains queers’ determination to maintain their presence in the public sphere despite repressive nationalist, militarist, Islamist, and authoritarian regimes.
This chapter looks to recent hybrid Latina queer writings for what they might offer us as a method and approach to the question of women’s accountability to women in a context of gendered violence. Through hybrid life writing that combines elements of non-fiction and fiction, Gabby Rivera’s Juliet take a Breath (2016), Mean by Myriam Gurba, (2017), and Desert Blood (2005) by Alicia Gaspar de Alba explore how queer Latinas negotiate violence against women within their cultural sphere and in conversation with dominant Anglo culture. The forms of violence introduced in these works range from cultural erasure (Juliet takes a Breath), to assault and rape (Mean), and the ongoing slaughter of women on the Mexico/US border (Desert Blood). This essay explores how the authors frame the obstacles queer Latinas confront as they strategize individually and collectively to address public and private assaults in relation to others; in each case, the authors depict Latinas who respond to these challenges by putting women first as they respond to simultaneous and competing racial and sexual politics.
This chapter explores how twentieth-century feminist and LGBTQ+ literature deconstructs and reimagines gender in formal experimentation and genre-bending. It proposes that this literary tradition contributes to a larger cultural conversation that tends to think in binaries: trans vs. queer, gay vs. straight, male vs. female. The work of a diverse group of writers-- Djuna Barnes, June Arnold, Bertha Harris, Armistead Maupin, and Leslie Feinberg—reinvents conventional understandings of gender in forms that range from avant garde experimentation to popular and autobiographical novels. Genderqueer American writers remind us that the complexities of gender and sexuality always exceed our attempts to describe them. When we incorporate genderqueer texts by queer American writers into the larger conversationwe can access another theoretical language, one written within contingency and resistance. Only radical reimagination and continual (re)creation can ever hope to approximate the complex play and multiplicity of genders.
Focusing on queer-identified amateur football teams, this article investigates the potentials of the mobilities and alliances of gender non-conforming footballing people to disrupt the seemingly effortless structure of the football field. While football is arguably one of the sports with the strongest discriminatory attitudes toward gender non-conforming people, it has also become a site of resistance for queers in Turkey as of 2015. How political opposition groups relate to the football field, which is mostly considered as a male-dominant and heterosexualized space where social norms are reproduced, are classified into three groups in my research: resistance through, against, and for football. I give particular attention to the category “resistance for football” as a distinctive way for gender non-conforming people to inhabit the field. I discuss how the link between sexual and spatial orientations shapes the domain of what a body can do, both in terms of normativity and capacity, and I explore what these teams offer in order to exceed spatial and sexual boundaries. Lastly, I present recent queer interventions in the value system of the game through which I reflect upon the concept of “queer commons” and the processes of bonding, belonging, and border-making in queer communities.
Gender in American Literature and Culture introduces readers to key developments in gender studies and American literary criticism. It offers nuanced readings of literary conventions and genres from early American writings to the present and moves beyond inflexible categories of masculinity and femininity that have reinforced misleading assumptions about public and private spaces, domesticity, individualism, and community. The book also demonstrates how rigid inscriptions of gender have perpetuated a legacy of violence and exclusion in the United States. Responding to a sense of 21st century cultural and political crisis, it illuminates the literary histories and cultural imaginaries that have set the stage for urgent contemporary debates.
Twenty-first-century poets, particularly queer Indigenous and queer of color poets, have taken particular interest in lyric, its excesses, and its transformative potential. Queer Indigenous and queer of color poets make clear that the relationships that make and sustain life are not merely those between human selves. The poems discussed retain the physicality associated with the lyric voice but reject its fantasy of a self-organizing, independent consciousness. They explore what might happen when the speaker's crystalline singularity is shattered – first, by a more accurate conception of the interdependence of living beings; and second, by historical and contemporary conditions of mass death. Tommy Pico’s Nature Poem makes astute use of the conventions of lyric poetry and its associated reading practices in order to invoke, if not inaugurate something different – poetry that disidentifies with the form of the person and that radically expands the tripartite relation of speaker, addressee, and audience that structures the American lyric tradition.
This article suggests that Turkey’s queer times are co-constitutive with Jasbir Puar’s queer times of homonationalism. If the queer times of homonationalism correspond to a folding of some queers into life and respectability at the cost of rising Islamophobia in the “West,” Turkey’s queer times witnessed the increasing marginalization and “queering” of variously respectable subjects in the name of Islam and strong LGBT organizing against such marginalization. It discusses the epistemic challenges of studying Turkey’s queer times that stem from a theoretical suspicion that “queer” operates as a tool of colonial modernity when it spreads to the “non-West,” a suspicion that is due both to a perception of Islam as a target and victim of Western neocolonialism and to an ahistorical and rigidly discursive understanding of language. In turn, scholarship on Turkey’s queer times has the potential to truly transnationalize queer studies, both getting us out of the binaries of global–local, colonial–authentic, and West–East and reminding scholars that hegemonies are scattered.
This chapter considers the contemporary novel in French within the context of the broadly defined field of women’s writing, a diverse, engaged and vibrant space where innovative literary forms are mobilised in ways that continue to stretch the possibilities and meanings of female experience. Exploring an array of texts by award-winning, bestselling and emerging novelists, the chapter discusses three key thematic areas. In the first part, it considers the intimacy long associated with women’s writing, showing how recent novels have tended to move beyond the tropes of sentimental romance, imagining instead a distinct, female-focused erotics, or otherwise engaging themes of love with wider, philosophical and political concerns. In the second part, the chapter looks at representations of the family, focusing on the turbulent, transformative times of adolescence, on perspectives on mothering, and on new patterns of kinship, that create new dialogues surrounding the cultural ideals and social pressures embroiled within the family in twenty-first-century France. In the final section, the chapter draws attention to the intersectional conversations in recent women’s writing in French between feminist concerns, the representation of queer and trans subjectivities, social inequalities, immigration and race relations.
The introduction situates the book in relation to academic and activist developments concerning same-sex cultures and intimacies in Africa at the turn of the century. Prominent among the key terms concepts it introduces, is the African feminist critique of the “ethnopornographic” colonial gaze on Black women’s sexual bodies and the queer destabilization of categories of sexual identity and its attending LGBT identity politics. The epistemological challenge of researching female same-sex desires from a queer postcolonial perspective, is illustrated through a discussion of the conflicting African and queer feminist representations of “women marriages,” a historical institution found in a variety of African societies. Considering the few anthropological references to female same-sex practices and to the historical practice of “friendship marriage” in colonial Ghana, it highlights the conceptual potential of friendship and kinship, as opposed to and alongside sexuality for an intersectional feminist analysis women’s erotic desires and intimacies.
Inspired by the paradigms of feminist anthropology, the prologue situates the author’s trajectory and the book’s epistemological and methodological premises upon which data was collected and transformed into analysis. It sketches out the main sites of research and how exactly the body of empirical data was generated. It critically discusses the scientific desire for knowledge about sexual practices and same-sex cultures in particular and the place of the erotic in the history of anthroplogical fieldwork, in which erotic relationships, whether or not consummated sexually, have been epistemologically productive.
Given the absence of a public language about “lesbianism,” the process of locating women who love women in Ghana was lengthy and difficult. By analyzing initial encounters with potential research respondents, the chapter illuminates how this process took shape through a series of constitutive misunderstandings that required the “unlearning” of pre-conceived notions of sexual identity.
Scholars such as Ian Smith, Jennifer Rahim, Nadia Ellis, Kezia Page, Rosamond King, and Timothy Chin have debunked the idea that sex and sexuality were either peripheral to or absent from the concerns of writers of the 1920s to 1970s. An examination of the sociocultural and literary-discursive mores that may have shaped the codes by which writers and critics addressed sexual issues enables an important re-evaluation of the relationship between literary works and the politics of respectability and heteronormativity often associated with the anglophone Caribbean. This examination attends to treatments of sex and sexuality that engage with nationalism, social status, queer desire, and cultural identity, and considers whether, how, and why the literary representations shifted at different points during this period and among different language traditions.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, advocates have argued for the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans (LGBT) people in humanitarian response efforts. Yet the application of this differential focus has been mixed among international policy guidelines and national programs. This research note details a queer theoretical approach to humanitarian crises that considers the intersectional factors that produce specific vulnerabilities within LGBT communities. We take two examples from distinct LGBT communities during the COVID-19 pandemic to demonstrate the analytical risk of treating the umbrella acronym LGBT, indicating distinct identity groups, as monolithic and not differentiating within identity groups based on other factors. We contend that this monolithic approach risks obviating the way different structural forces further compound precarity during crisis. Thus, we make the case for rooting intersectional approaches in any queer analyses of crisis.
In this book, Adrian Thatcher offers fresh theological arguments for expanding our understanding of gender. He begins by describing the various meanings of gender and depicts the relations between women and men as a pervasive human and global problem. Thatcher then critiques naive and harmful theological accounts of sexuality and gender as binary opposites or mistaken identities. Demonstrating that the gendered theologies of Hans Urs von Balthasar and Karl Barth, as well as the Vatican's “war on gender” rest on questionable binary models, he replaces these models with a human continuum that allows for sexual difference without assuming “opposite sexes” and normative sexualities. Grounded in core Christian doctrines, this continuum enables a full theological affirmation of LGBTIQ people. Thatcher also addresses the excesses of the male/female binary in secular culture and outlines a hermeneutic that delivers justice and acceptance instead of sexism and discrimination.