This article concerns itself with feminist comedy that is deemed angry and difficult in an era of postfeminism. Hannah Gadsby’s live show Nanette, released as a Netflix film, can be described as difficult because it is politically challenging, emotionally demanding and disrupts the established format of stand-up comedy. Yet it has had critical and commercial success. Nanette challenges the underpinning assumption of postfeminism: that feminism is no longer needed. It is feminist and angry. To explore the phenomenon of angry feminist comedy in the postfeminist era, the article considers the comedy of Gadsby through the figure of the feminist killjoy, coined by Sara Ahmed, to reflect how the killjoy and the queer art of failing offer forms of political ‘sabotage’ that subvert comedy as masculinist popular culture.
In this chapter I want to argue for the importance of thinking queer in our practice as historians. Engaging with what I see as a persistent tendency in recent work on modern British same-sexualities, I tease out the possibilities opened up by shifting our definition of queer from a position to a process; from a mode of sexual selfhood – however unstable – to a set of critical practices; from something we consider our subjects to be, to something we do. In so doing I draw upon Laura Doan’s recent work, particularly the challenging reading of
queer sexual fantasy through archaeological excavation and reconstruction. Additionally, calling upon the sphinx to re-enact the ancient Egyptian myth in which Isis rebuilds the fragmented remains of Osiris, the speaker invokes a process of archaeological excavation and reconstruction that the poem itself enacts throughout. Imagining the sphinx leading him through millennia of time, layers of dust and
Introduction Queer theory emerged prominently as a distinct field only by the 1990s – there is nothing about it, for instance, in Terry Eagleton's Literary Theory: An Introduction (1983), or in the first edition of Raman Selden's A Reader's Guide to Contemporary Literary Theory (1985). As with women's studies twenty years before, the growing significance and acceptance of this new field is indicated by the presence of ‘queer theory’ sections in many mainstream bookshops and publishers’ academic catalogues, and by the establishment of relevant
no instrumental reason at all; doing things that make no sense, are not efficient, that provide no yield—this line of thinking about expenditure, surplus, and excess, short-circuiting the rendement , has helped shape much of my thinking about the horizontality of queer embodiment in the 1960s. In this chapter, I foreground how this inefficient use of time and labor also extends to the realm of everyday sociality. The San Remo Cafe, frequented in the early 1960s by Herko and friends known as the A-Men (A for amphetamine), is an exemplary site in this regard. Even
, those lines also turn out to blur in ways that might be understood as queer and through queer theory’s theorisation of desire. To ground a given sexual minority group’s difference in history is to insist that its manifestation of desire is not merely contemporary innovation but rather a storied, established aspect of human sexual variation. I was drawn to medieval studies in part by promises of the absolute alterity of medieval minds, mores, and writings, but my research continually returns me
The most sexually transgressive decade of socialist Yugoslavia, the 1980s, was a time when challenging compulsory heterosexuality politics and attendant gender roles became central to performative art practices in the alternative cultural scenes of Ljubljana. Questions of feminist and queer sexuality were a pervasive subtext and were often extremely overt themes in art, popular culture, and activism in the Yugoslav republic of Slovenia, with the punk as well as gay and lesbian underground scenes in Ljubljana marking a decisively political
described by scholars such as George E. Haggerty in Queer Gothic ( 2006 ), Luce Irigaray in This Sex Which is Not One ( 1977 ) and Michel Foucault in The History of Sexuality (1976). Examining the intersections of sexuality and power within the representations of mother–son incest in the Gothic reveals the complexities of the radical destabilisations of gender and heteronormativity occurring
Where exactly is queer England? There has been much discussion of London as a queer city, but what about the many thousands of queer lives lived elsewhere? In Queer beyond London, two leading LGBTQ historians take you on a journey through four English cites from the 1960s to the 1990s, exploring the northern post-industrial heartlands and taking in the salty air of the seaside cities of the South. Covering the bohemian, artsy world of Brighton, the semi-hidden queer life of military Plymouth, the lesbian activism of Leeds and the cutting-edge dance and drag scenes of Manchester, they show how local people, places and politics shaped LGBTQ life in each city, forging vibrant and distinctive queer cultures of their own. Using pioneering community histories from each place, and including the voices of queer people who have made their lives there, the book tells local stories at the heart of our national history.
“Rebranding James Baldwin and His Queer Others” was a session held at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association in November 2019 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The papers gathered here show how Baldwin’s writings and life story participate in dialogues with other authors and artists who probe issues of identity and identification, as well as with other types of texts and non-American stories, boldly addressing theoretical and political perspectives different from his own. Nick Radel’s temporal challenge to reading novels on homoerotic male desire asks of us a leap of faith, one that makes it possible to read race as not necessarily a synonym for “Black,” but as a powerful historical and sexual trope that resists “over-easy” binaries of Western masculinity. Ernest L. Gibson’s engagement with Beauford Delaney’s brilliant art and the ways in which it enabled the teenage Baldwin’s “dark rapture” of self-discovery as a writer reminds us that “something [has been missing] in our discussions of male relationships.” Finally, Nigel Hatton suggests “a relationship among Baldwin, Denmark, and Giovanni’s Room that adds another thread to the important scholarship on his groundbreaking work of fiction that has impacted African-American literature, Cold War studies, transnational American studies, feminist thought, and queer theory.” All three essays enlarge our assessment of Baldwin’s contribution to understanding the ways gender and sexuality always inflect racialized Western masculinities. Thus, they help us work to better gauge the extent of Baldwin’s influence right here and right now.