Sunday, March 10, 2013

Doing Queer Theory Without Queer Theory

A thought, which I will expand upon, which I will continue to edit this post ...

I wrote this in a footnote for a paper proposal: "Here, I would like to note that to deploy theorists, philosophers, and theories that have not been (fully) put to work in queer (visual) studies is to create another series of queer (visual) theories, which have not been organized into a logic and—I never thought I would state this—that have not been reified in Queer Theory (a proper—in all the senses of the term—name and discipline) that informs queer (visual) studies."

I think it important to do queer work, but not to have a knee-jerk reaction to picking up a queer theory or studies text, to do such work (rather a closed system, no?). I think it important to draw in other texts, which seem to have no connection to a queer project, but they may be deployed in queer work by reading the books and essays otherwise: in a word, to queer them, by reading them queery -- one can say anamorphically.

I think that the work, and this is an example, of Derrida, Cixous, Ranciere, Deleuze and Guattari can aid in creating new ways (ex.: languages, strategies, etc.) to not only do our queer work, but to queer the theories and philosophies of the aforementioned subjects. This is not to say that what I am thinking should be done is anything new -- Butler and Sedgwick have variously used philosophers to create queer theories and readings -- but what is new is to do such a trans-disciplinary practice even more, and more still. I don't think that queer is anything in-itself, but rather an assemblage, which must be re-assembled. And, it seems that queer theory has become rather inclosed, given it is 20 years worth of work, so we must re-open the field: find other texts to re-imagine what is to be done in and for queer theory and studies. After all, one aspect of queer(ness) is generative generousness.

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