Seeking help against intimate partner violence in lesbian and queer relationships
This chapter explores the concept of bioprecarity in the context of intimate partner violence (IPV) in LBTQ relationships by focusing on help-seeking as crossing encounters. Judith Butler (2004: 44) discusses the body as a site of human vulnerability, emphasizing that ‘this vulnerability is always articulated differently, that it cannot be properly thought of outside a differentiated field of power and, specifically, the differential operation of norms of recognition’. Eve Sedgwick (1990: 71) describes the invisibility sustaining the figure of the closet as the defining structure of gay oppression. Following this line of thought, Beverly Skeggs and Leslie Moran (2014: 5) address the need to produce ‘new visibilities’ claims for protection against violence. Drawing on these theorizations and on original empirical data, in this chapter I analyse the concept of help-seeking as crossing encounters of intimacy, not only in the sense of the private–public realms, but also regarding community and cultural boundaries, as the embodied LBTQ victim-survivor transgresses the cultural perceptions of victimhood when meeting help providers in an institutional context.
In his analysis of the evolution of sexuality in society in Making Sexual History, Jeffrey Weeks comments that, following a series of major challenges throughout the twentieth century (ranging from Freud‘s work to the challenges of feminism and queer politics), ‘sexuality becomes a source of meaning, of social and political placing, and of individual sense of self ’. This special issue of Gothic Studies intends to foster further research on the topic of queer sexuality. This is research which has already been underway for some time but it has not always been interdisciplinary in nature, as is the case for these five articles, in their discussion of theatre, cinema, and literature or literary conventions borrowed from Gothic novels.
This volume is concerned with the ways in which bioprecarity, here understood as the vulnerabilization of people as embodied selves, is created through regulations and norms that encourage individuals to seek or provide bodily interventions of different kinds. We explore this in particular in relation to intimacy and intimate labour, such as in the making of families and kin and in various forms of care work. Advances in biotechnology, medical tourism and the visibilization of minoritized communities have resulted in unsettling the norms around the gendered body, intimate relations and intimate labour. Bodily interventions have sociocultural meanings and consequences both for those who seek such interventions and for those who provide the intimate labour in conducting them. The purpose of this volume is to explore these. This exploration involves sociocultural questions of boundary work, of privilege, of bodily ownership, of the multiple meanings of want (understood both as desire, for example the desire to have children or to change one’s bodily appearance; and as need – as in economic need – which often prompts people to undertake migration and/or intimate labour). It also raises questions about different kinds of vulnerabilities, for those who engage, and those who engage in, intimate labour. We use the term ‘bioprecarity’ to analyse those vulnerabilities.
‘Transformational objects’ and the Gothic fiction of Richard Marsh
This chapter explores the treatment of objects, things, in Marsh’s major Gothic works: The Beetle, The Goddess and The Joss. The increasing popularity in the late nineteenth century of collecting and consuming objects offers a context in which boundaries between people and things become uncertain, with objects seemingly exercising a disturbing agency. Marsh’s texts present mutually transforming encounters between objects and characters that question the stability of identity. The chapter suggests that whilst transgressing boundaries between self and not-self is often explored in critical analysis through mesmerism, a more appropriate conceptual framework for Marsh is provided by object relations psychoanalysis, and specifically Christopher Bollas’s notion of ‘transformational objects’. Developing this notion in relation to Bill Brown’s ‘thing theory’, the chapter identifies Marsh’s objects as ‘transformational things’, encounters with which often lead to terrifying breakdowns of selfhood, conveying a pervasive sense of existential horror and exposing the precariousness of late-nineteenth-century identity.
Identity is often regarded as something that is possessed by individuals, states, and other agents. In this edited collection, identity is explored across a range of approaches and under-explored case studies with a view to making visible its fractured, contingent, and dynamic features. The book brings together themes of belonging and exclusion, identity formation and fragmentation. It also examines how identity functions in discourse, and the effects it produces, both materially and in ideational terms. Taking in case studies from Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, the various chapters interrogate identity through formal governing mechanisms, popular culture and place. These studies demonstrate the complex and fluid nature of identity and identity practices, as well as implications for theorising identity.
‘governor’. I take the essence of the cyborg to be its hybridity,
which rejects the fundamental dichotomy between animate and
inanimate, and postulates a being made up of ‘transgressedboundaries, potent fusions, and dangerous possibilities’ (Haraway)
representing the abutting edges between human and machine. The
cyborg is ironic and perverse, not singular, but internally contradictory, without innocence, and not governed by a single vision. All
these ideas come from the cyborg chapter of Haraway’s book, and
they seem to sum up the gun girl: she is sexy and erotic, but
principal myth-figure legitimising
domination, needs to discover itself as a cultural composite of
diverse constituencies. However, he acknowledges, with Said,
that culture, ‘a system of discriminations and evaluations’, is
also invariably ‘a system of exclusions’.9 Like Bhabha, Malouf
conceives of the nation as tenuously defined by ‘transgressiveboundaries’ – boundaries that are made and unmade, defined
and effaced, by acts or events of transgression. For Malouf, as
for Bhabha, ‘the margins of the nation displace the centre’.10 The
In other words, because cyborgs
are like us and yet not like us and because their identity is
‘predicated on transgressedboundaries’ (Balsamo 1997 : 32), they foreground ‘the constructedness of otherness’
(Balsamo 1997 : 33). Cyborgs show that gender
identity is socially and ideologically predicated, because the cyborg
body is not a ‘natural’ body, and yet it appears in popular culture
-focused genre, in which setting plays a central role and where the landscape is a character taking an active part in the action. Herr Arnes penningar (1903; Herr Arne’s Hoard , 1922) is a thrilling murder and ghost story where the myth of werewolves, in combination with a punishing Arctic landscape, is used to enhance the Gothic atmosphere.
Lagerlöf explores various aspects of the return of the past and transgressingboundaries between life and death, human self and monstrous beast, fantasy and reality in stories such as
This type of spectacle frequently occurs through the frame of a metanarrative,
which itself draws attention to spectatorship and audience. Gothic spectacle is
closely associated with the medium of the theatre, with its visual splendour;
Blake partakes of this medium through the dramatic performativity of his
work. 2 Triggered by disbelief or
shock, laughter turns easily to horror and horror to laughter: transgressingboundaries can be