Marxism and queer theory at the end of the Cold War
in De-centering queer theory
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In Chapter 4, I investigate the formation of a deconstructivist gender and trace it to the 1980s and the end of the Cold War. First, I historicize the elision of Soviet Marxism from the avant-garde art and theory of 1970s critics of socialism to the beginning of the 1990s in queer theory. Second, I offer a close reading of queer theory texts to show that the fall of State socialism at the end of the 1980s has taken Marxism out of queer theory. In refusing the narrative that gender is only gender identity, gender became a vehicle to deconstruct categories such as man and woman (Judith Butler), historicize them (Joan Scott), or analyze how they are part of larger processes of racialization (Hortense Spillers). Unlike a Soviet Marxist epistemology, queer theorists such as Butler did not produce an aesthetic and vocabulary that were explicitly anti-capitalist. In response to this problem, I argue that the epistemology of Soviet Marxism can transform queer theory and point to novel historical possibilities for sexed bodies.

De-centering queer theory

Communist sexuality in the flow during and after the Cold War

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