But no critic has been more haunted by death in his or her writing than Lee Edelman. His grave writing so heavily influenced by Derrida and De Man has most recently turned to the figure of the child, the logic of futurity, and the death drive. Fuss consistently draws attention to the intersections between sexuality and hauntology; in an especially sharp formulation, she writes,. Heterosexuality can never fully ignore the close psychical proximity of its terrifying homo sexual other, any more than homosexuality can entirely escape the equally insistent social pressures of hetero sexual conformity.
Each is haunted by the other, but here again it is the other who comes to stand in metonymically for the very occurrence of haunting and ghostly visitation. The subject, for Fuss, is always, it seems, haunted by abjection.follow link
Department of English
Of course the gothic is where it all began for the other queen of queer theory, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, whose first monograph The Coherence of Gothic Conventions has become the locus classicus for theorists of gothic space. Her Between Men has famously given us the theory of homosocial desire, but it has also given us those of homosexual panic and paranoid gothic, which have proven indispensable for readers of the gothic novel see Rigby and Markley in this volume.
Miller, and argues for reparative readings which would eschew gloomy predictions. For her sex was split in two. If, as we suggest, theory and its apparitional offspring, queer theory, are always already Gothic, it is especially urgent for queer theorists to attend to the queer dimension of Gothic writing proper. Several contributors to this volume make this their explicit project. Both queerness and plagiarism have been much discussed before but always separately.
Sexuality and religion are not opposite poles from which to understand the action of the novel: they are inextricably bound in the cultural imagination.
He makes a very strong case that the discursive space brought into being by fictive convents and monasteries allowed novelists to describe forms of intimate experience that would have been implausible otherwise. As a result, this fictive version of Catholicism made possible the inscription of new sexual possibilities well before the emergence of sexology in the late nineteenth century.
But an earlier and very necessary process of popularization exists right here: Catholic gothic fiction and the history of sexuality, for this moment at least, overlap in countless ways. Rather, her essay examines the interpretive apparatus itself, both within the novel and that which is applied to the novel, showing how the process of inferring a sexuality or constructing one on the basis of textual and biographical signs relies upon, or constructs, a series of assumptions entirely characteristic of modern sexual epistemology.
The emphasis on figurality, unpacking queer meaning at the level of language, is also Sedgwickian in light of her early reliance on the Yale school in her understanding of the gothic.
Moreover, in specific passages Markley opens up new areas of historical and literary interest. The essay is especially important when it argues that Godwin wishes to alter familiar notions of masculinity see Tobin on Bildung also , not least in the role it gives to the gentle male figure Julian in the late novel Cloudesley.
Taken together, these contributions underscore an often unsuspected dimension of the Gothic: its literary sophistication. By highlighting what other modes of fiction try to suppress—by emphasizing its borrowings, offering up fictive versions of Catholicism that do not pretend to be rooted in historical fact, and drawing attention to the figural strategies whereby readers find sexual encodings in its fictions, the gothic decentres literary representation itself, transforming it into a campy performance, a space for sexual invention, a challenge to homophobic reading, and a domain in which to affirm alternative possibilities for masculinity.
In thus queering normative codes and narratives, the gothic already creates the terms and strategies of contemporary hauntology, opening up the space now occupied by psychoanalysis, theory, queer theory, and the politics of living otherwise.
The gothic is our monstrous parentage. But such sophistication is not a feature only of the gothic. Our contributors also show that Romantic poetics relies directly on strategies of oppositional performance, contrarian imitation, and strategic displacement. In a groundbreaking essay, Bridget Keegan takes up a neglected domain of poetic production—the labouring-class pastoral poetry of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries—and finds within that realm unsuspected possibilities for queer articulation.
She argues that labouring-class poets often wrote within pastoral traditions not to reinforce their erotic conventions, but to inhabit them subversively. Such poets, constrained by the demands of patronage, could not easily challenge elite notions of nature, social class, labour, or Britishness except through an indirect critique—through an oppositional, camp performance. In a different vein, Janet Little turns pastoral against itself, adopting the conventions of pastoral romance only to resist the demands of heterosexual desire.
This essay not only expands the archive of queer Romantic articulation well beyond the sphere of relatively elite writing but also, through its use of the notion of camp, adds greatly to the critical strategies we might bring to bear on that archive. A similarly oppositional strategy shapes the career of a poet at the other end of the social scale, Lord Byron. According to Laura George, Byron embraces precisely those traits for which the fops of the Restoration and eighteenth century and the more recent beaus and dandies had been attacked: their proximity to a thing, their submission to reification, their fidelity to detail, their hovering on the verge of nothingness.
In his poetics, Byron does not resolve the contradictions of a reified culture, but like the dandy, performs them. In this strategy of oppositional performance, this inversion of a long tradition of rhetorical attack, one might see an aristocratic counterpart of the strategies of camp; if plebeian authors can subversively appropriate the tropes of an elite genre, so also can a celebrity poet subversively don the costume of the apparently nonexistent thing.
In either case, a parodic Romanticism inverts surface and substance, in the process decentring social and aesthetic hierarchies on behalf of a possibility they never directly name. Rather than adhering to a normative tradition or subverting it through a queer poetics, Shelley attempts to displace one kind of sexual transgression with another—to translate a tale of sodomy into one of incest, to recast an Italian story for an English audience, to transform Byronic into Shelleyan practice.
In effect, he hopes to subsume a sodomitical poetics through the strategies of Gothic drama. But as Berry demonstrates, by thus presenting men in the form of women, Shelley replicates the shift visible in his essay on the manners of the ancient Greeks. Because Greek women were essentially enslaved, they could not serve as fit objects of male desire; it follows that only the presence of an intelligent and morally responsive woman could ward off the potential slide into Greek love. Without Mary, Berry argues, Percy could become a sodomite. But it turns out that by displacing sodomy into incest, Shelley does not in fact produce a drama that can be staged in England; rejected at Covent Garden and deplored in its initial reviews, the play demonstrates that a tale of sodomy, when recast in this particular heterosexual guise, remains unmistakably queer.
Like those on the gothic, these contributions on Romantic poetics point to the productive dimension of denaturalizing literary strategies. Where many readers of Romanticism have emphasized its reliance on organic or natural metaphors, these contributors show that it often operates in exactly the opposite way, borrowing on received social codes to invert or denaturalize them. Taken together, the contributions on the gothic and Romantic poetics show that queer romanticism emerges in part from the self-conscious use of literary codes to displace them, to inhabit them in the mode of oppositional performance.
From the vantage of this volume, Romantic authors write not to overthrow the canonic authors of previous generations, but to defy literary naturalization itself. If gothic and Romantic texts are already inventing the oppositional strategies of camp, we should also expect them to be fashioning alternative forms of sexuality as well. The final group of essays in this collection substantially revises received accounts of the history of sexuality, particularly those that place the emergence of the major components of modern sexual identities in the late nineteenth century.
These essays demonstrate that aspects of those identities were already in play in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. This essay thus challenges received narratives on a number of counts, suggesting not only that a particular sexual type is already familiar early in the century, but also that the key shift involves a little-remarked alteration in the status of sexual acts. A similar effort animates many members of the Keats Circle as they seek to do justice to the life of their beloved poet. As Caroline Kimberly shows, the early biographers of Keats tended to queer him—to make him a figure of feminine delicacy, an erotic object, a devotee of sensual pleasure, or a man dependent on his friends.
Members of the Keats Circle were displeased by these accounts and sought a biographer who would do more justice to his virile independence. Yet ironically, these tendentious depictions of Keats created a language in which later all-male aesthetic circles could articulate their mode of mutual attachment. Kimberly argues that the Cambridge Apostles drew upon the Keats legend as they crafted their own model of a community founded on male-male desire, attachment, and mutual support.
Part I - Reading Queer Literary History
The conjunction of the Keats legend with the homophilic ideas of the Apostles came to fruition when Richard Monckton Milnes, an Apostle, wrote the Life of the poet, providing the definitive image of the queer Keats that was to prove crucial to a late-Victorian, aesthetic readership.
Here again it seems that the more explicitly homosexual communities of the late nineteenth century emerge from a precise shift within discourses and practices inherited from sensibility or Romanticism; the homosexual is not a wholly new invention, but a more sexualized version of a familiar, and perhaps privileged, aesthetic figure.
But this type could be sexualized to that extent only because it could already be associated in some way with sexual practice. In her analysis of how the Ladies of Llangollen were read by various literary visitors to their home in northern Wales, Fiona Brideoake resists settling the question of whether theirs was a genitally sexual relationship.
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Instead, she suggests that we interpret it as a productively opaque relationship, one that could be read in various ways by various constituencies. Here again one sees the themes broached by Incorvati and Kimberly: a mode of affect from the era of sensibility is either regarded with a certain affectionate scepticism or appropriated as the sign of a new sexual possibility.
In this case, however, the same-sex attachment was found neither in a novel nor in a biography, but in the cultural project of the Ladies themselves; to comprehend their significance, we would argue, one must accept the possibility that new sexual paradigms might emerge not in discourses, as many have assumed since Foucault, but in practices—in a lived, rather than written, cultural project. As Brideoake points out, their version of a rustic domesticity found an echo in the rustic household of William and Dorothy Wordsworth and thus served as a template for emergent notions of Romantic community.
This book offers a number of alternative readings, and demonstrates strategic uses of figuration and abstraction across East and West. Charlotte Benton, This visualization of political ideals, and its reciprocal effect on the civic imagination, is the larger theme of the book. Time period: early modern period, esp. David Rosand, In Across Meridians, Jinqi Ling offers readers the most critically engaged examination to date of Yamashita's literary corpus. Jinqi Ling, Ronald Bush, Jodi Cranston, Titian, DIVAliyyah I.
Abdur-Rahman argues that from the mid-nineteenth century through the twentieth, black writers used depictions of transgressive sexuality to express African Americans' longings for individual and collective freedom. Aliyyah Abdur-Rahman, ABSTRACT This dissertation elucidates the relationship between the rhetorical figuration of intimate abuse, the configuration of publics, and political agency.
Using psychoanalytic rhetorical criticism, this project analyzes four figures of intimate Academic journal article African American Review. It has become commonplace to suggest the similarities in the histories of the black and feminist consciousness movements of the s and '70s, especially the critical blindnesses that threatened to undermine the very solidarity crucial to political identity.
Just as the Black Panthers lorded it over their women, middle-class white feminists failed to recognize the different needs of women of color - especially Black women - who served in their very households as domestic help. Although leading white feminists might have entertained the political possibilities of a gender-based alliance between white women and women of color, insofar as they understood black female activism as part of the broader struggle for racial liberation, they tacitly committed black women to a marginal role in an essentially masculinist enterprise.
While ostensibly struggling against racial oppression, black nationalism cultivated an overt sexism; meanwhile feminism, in its battle with gender oppression, perpetuated an indifferent racism. Indeed, if all the men were black, then all the women were white.