Queer theory
in Beginning theory (fourth edition)
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There were differences of emphasis between lesbian and gay theory, and two major strands of thinking within lesbian theory itself. The first of these is lesbian feminism, which is understood by seeing it initially in the context of its own origins from within feminism. The second is designated as libertarian lesbianism seen as part of the field of 'queer theory' or 'queer studies'. This chapter discusses the nature and development of the thinking designated as lesbian feminism and libertarian lesbianism. It describes the critical activities of queer theorists and presents an example of this kind of criticism taken from the chapter 'The love poetry of the First World War' in Mark Lilly's Gay Men's Literature in the Twentieth Century. A STOP and THINK section provides the reader with some ‘hands-on’ experience with the subject discussed.

Beginning theory (fourth edition)

An introduction to literary and cultural theory


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