Words, Bodies, Times: Queer Theory Before and After Itself
Both queer theory and Jacques Rancière’s work have articulated critiques of identity. These critiques however, have taken place in very different institutional and disciplinary contexts, and are also marked by very specific histories. In this essay, close readings of specific essays (Edelman, Bersani, Dean, Butler) in queer theory are related to arguments developed by Rancière in order to bring out clearly the very different modes through which critiques of identity have been developed. In particular, the themes of language and representation, and ethics, provide the two perspectives through which both the conjunctions and disjunctions between queer theory and Rancière’s work are explored. Representation and ethics in both bodies of work, the essay argues, provide for a comparative and mutually illuminating perspective on the articulation of words, bodies and images.
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© borderlands ejournal 2009