Divergent Sexualities, Divergent Temporalities

Theorizing Queer Time
2017


Divergent Temporalities

The dominant arrangement of time and history guides the narratives and tempos of our lives, naturalizing their rhythms in such a way that they appear intuitive. This normative relationship to time is syncopated to heteronormative experience. (Freeman 4) Contemporary queer theory has undertaken the challenge of reformulating a relationship to temporality as a position of resistance. A counter-politics of time carefully observes the inconsistencies, incomplete formulations, and paradoxes of what we might call heterotemporality or “straight time.” and finds the occasion to enact strategies for queering time. These modalities for confronting the smooth, straight flow situate themselves not only as responding to the crushing weight of dominant culture but also to the practices of those pragmatic queer activists who claim to be torchbearers as they assimilate to the straight temporal order of “respectable” hegemonic existence through access to marriage, child-rearing and the like.

This text will explore three different approaches to the queer resistance of dominant temporality, focusing on No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive by Lee Edelman, Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity by José Esteban Muñoz, and Time Binds: Queer Temporalities, Queer Histories by Elizabeth Freeman. Edelman and Muñoz both challenge normative time, however there is discontent in their attempts to overcome this with the eternal present of jouissance or critically utopian futurity, respectively. These offer thoughtful, albeit singular accounts of what we are to consider normative and queer temporality. Freeman’s offering of multiple textual strategies that manifest in queer culture and cultural production demonstrates that Edelman and Muñoz’s arguments are both valid, and they are contained within a larger set of non-normative temporal logics.

The visions of Edelman, Muñoz and Freeman are intricately interwoven as they actively engage each other's work, within the texts themselves and outside of the covers of the books as they participate in debate and conversation about the implications of their ideas. Further, they stage an unfolding of 20th century theory in the early 21st century. Where Freeman and Muñoz both base their argumentations in the tradition of the Frankfurt School Marxists, Walter Benjamin and Ernst Bloch, respectively, Edelman writes his polemic in Jacques Lacan’s style of psychoanalysis. A vulgar generalization of this would appear to prove that Freeman and Muñoz both write in a modern tradition, while Edelman gives a postmodern account of queer theory. While on the surface this suffices as a judgement, it requires deeper consideration as to how these theorists’ works interact with each other in relation to the chrononormativity that surrounds them.

 

The Future is Kid Stuff

Published in  2004,  No Future is a polemic in the tradition of Lacanian psychoanalysis, in which Lee Edelman argues for the abandonment of the Child (as figure of heterosexual reproductive futurity) by queers in order to assume a negative antisocial position. In his acknowledgements, he gives gratitude to those who gave him “the courage to let this argument go as far as it demanded.” (Edelman ix) This statement sets the tone for the rest of the book, which can be described as earning a divided reception for its abrasive turn against the normative structuring of politics though Symbolic language. He sets out to outline what is a hopeless wager as he takes the Symbolic’s rendering of queerness as Other to its ultimate end: queerness as total negation. What is afforded by a willingness to embrace this negativity, rather than pander to the Symbolic through gay assimilationist pragmatics, is access to the jouissance that at once defines and negates queer lives. (5)

Edelman makes queer the theory of Lacan. The Lacanian Symbolic, a network of signifying relations, functions in our social reality in order to make coherent the Imaginary totality in which we render the world recognizable and intelligible. (7) The death drive emerges as a consequence of the ways in which the Symbolic carves reality and this drive holds a privileged place in Edelman’s theory as the inarticulable surplus that propels the subject. Edelman explains, “the death drive marks the excess embedded within the Symbolic through the loss” (9). As the Symbolic order attempts to create one-to-one relations in the Imaginary, there remains that which is unintelligible under this totality. This void, lack, or loss of meaning is located in what is called the Real, which is that which cannot be understood through the logic of the Symbolic. Because of this loss to the Real, an excess remains in the Symbolic realm and  is expressed through the drive toward the repetitive, meaningless, incoherent actions of jouissance, expressed in the non-reproductive element of queer sex.

Edelman discusses his ideas alongside films and literature that illustrate how his ideas are constructed within these mediums. His choice of examples extends his commitment to negation. They are not held up as revelations of the positive value in queer existence, but rather are examples in which makers depicted the absolute cultural value in the figure of the Child, as in the case of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, or show the horror in the drive towards death through jouissance, as in Alfred Hitchcock The Birds. He does not outwardly attempt to validate the queer experience or identity through making it meaningful within the Symbolic order.

Edelman is a professor of English at Tufts University. His style of writing should be interpreted as an intentional aesthetic bridging of content with form. The only section in which Edelman reveals his approach to literary theory within No Future is a moment in which he describes the transference of metaphor and metonymy. Through this, metaphor is literalized and metonymy is instantiated. Edelman refers to this as “the transformation of two into One, as the random slippage of metonymy into which every One must fall” (87). He goes onto say that this usage is different from the description of metonymy that Lacan says defines desire; this inversion of metonymy and metaphor “undoes the substitutive structures of identification” (87). One might consider this digression as inconsequential until one catches on that Edelman has shifted the entirety of his text into a state where metaphor becomes contiguous and metonymy draws similarities. With this in mind, No Future reads like a literalization of the ways in which normative culture essentializes and Others queers, through using metonymy in an account of the Child.

 

Queerness as Horizon

Five years after No Future, Cruising Utopia was published by José Esteban Muñoz, who was a Chair of the Department of Performance at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He begins his introduction to Cruising Utopia by claiming that:

The here and now is a prison house. We must strive, in the face of the here and now’s totalizing rendering of reality, to think and feel a then and there. Some will say that all we have are the pleasures of this moment, but we must never settle for that minimal transport; we must dream and enact new and better pleasures, other ways of being in the world, and ultimately new worlds. (Muñoz 1)

He claims that queer futurity is the rejection of a heteronormative here/now and the insistence of the potentiality for other ways of being. Muñoz’s critical framework  is concretized by the critical theory of the Frankfurt school, especially that of the peripheral member Ernst Bloch in his three-volume philosophical treatise The Principle of Hope. Bloch’s conception of utopia is important to Muñoz and he differentiates concrete utopias (those connected to the historical) from abstract utopias, which “pose a critique function that fuels a critical and potentially transformative political imagination” (3). Both forms of utopia are valued in Muñoz’s formulation. The book is premised around applying the ideas of Bloch’s anticipatory illumination function of art to works (especially performance art) and cultural production that share in this queer utopian vision. This anticipatory illumination is often derived from aesthetic ornamentation, although Bloch was not opposed to this being produced through mechanical means, allowing it to be quotidian, considering the everyday as ripe with potentiality. This potentiality is described as a mode of non-being that is eminent, or that which exists but not in the present tense. (7) Bloch’s utopianism is premised on a complex, asynchronous animation of the past and future through engagement with the “No-Longer-Conscious” and “Not-Yet-Present,” in order to critique the present, and thus put into action a “Becomingness.” This is different from the simplistic rendering of the past in order to enact a concrete heteronormative futurity. This relationship to past and future is compared to Derrida’s trace; a “flickering illumination from other times and places. [...] They assist those of us who wish to follow queerness’ promise, and its unrealized potential, to see something else...” (28.)

Muñoz uses hope as a form of queer hermeneutics. This is something he found to be lacking in a moment when cultural analysis is dominated by antiutopianism, and pessimism, often masquerading as actual critical intervention. Of this he says, “the antiutopian critic of today has a well-worn war chest of poststructuralism pieties at her or his disposal to shut down lines of thought that delineate the concept of critical utopianism.” (10) This comment is directly aimed at Edelman. Muñoz directly engages No Future throughout Cruising Utopia, contending the validity of antirelational theses that moves sexuality into a pure, single axis of difference. (94-95) Muñoz, in response, argues for “the essential need for an understanding of queerness as collectivity.” (11) Muñoz claims that his turn towards Bloch, hope, and utopia are in response to what he considers the lull of presentness and romancing of negativity, which have become routine and resoundingly anticritical. He charges this celebration of negation with participating in a binary logic of opposition.  

Much like Edelman, Muñoz rejects the idea that assimilationist gay pragmatism should be considered the horizon of queer politics. He refutes the position that claims that the goal of queer theory is to integrate queers into a normative model of American capitalism. In this framework, “hard fought struggles for sexual liberation are reduced to a demand for lifestyle diversification” (31). He says that being ordinary and being married are both antiutopian desires, as they don’t venture the horizon of the Not-Yet-Present. However, Muñoz describes this as operating under the pretense that the only option to break out of the here and now is through a futurity premised on reproduction, to which he wants to offer an alternative.

 

Queer and Not Now

Elizabeth Freeman’s position in Time Binds is an attempt to reframe queer temporalities as something can can be described by multiple discursive strategies that include “asynchrony, anachronism, anastrophe, belatedness, compression, delay, ellipsis, flashback, hysteron-proteron, pause, prolepsis, repetition, reversal, surprise” (Freeman xxii). These forms of temporality exist in the culture and cultural production of those who are queer or otherwise sexually divergent. As a professor of English at the University of California, Davis, Freeman is largely concerned with a Benjaminian conception of allegorical aesthetics where the form and content of a work can encode and enact the bending of dominant culture. This is neither a transcendence or subsumption of culture, but rather “pries it open a bit, rearranges or reconstitutes its elements, providing glimpses of an otherwise-being that is unrealizable as street activism or as a blueprint for the future” (xix). Freeman’s theory does not accept either Muñoz’s and Edelman’s ideas as a complete conception of  queer temporality as they both entail a closedness of form, but rather compatible fragments of a more complete vision of queer temporal strategies.

Freeman describes heteronormative time in a way which taxonomizes the past, present, and future. This challenges the singular axis of argumentation of how straight time is formulated by both Edelman (reproductive futurity) and Muñoz (heterosexist ever-present). In the preface, she responds to the insufficiency of the historical nostalgia for a revolutionary moment (such as the Stonewall Riots), as well as a pure future-orientation that neglects confronting its past. A queer theory entirely focusing on present is also inadequate, according to Freeman, in a commodified world in which problems only disappear through finding one’s niche market. (xvi)

Freeman focuses on the ways in which temporal schema is utilized as a way of organizing human experience. In her formulation, chrononormativity is something we need to observe with an eye to the past; the advent and legacy of modernity developed new social relations to time. She explains how the emergence of wage work entailed a retemporalization of labouring bodies from their historical attunement to the seasonal rhythms of agrarian society, profoundly altering the relationship to time to fit the modern narrative of progressive, linear time and the incremental measurement of hours, weeks, months and years.  As wage work became status quo, the spheres of labour developed a divided temporality. Unlike Edelman or Muñoz, Freeman gives an account of female domestic labour as continuing to be cognized as attunement to the “natural” cyclic time of caregiving, cleaning, and feeding. Alongside these dualistic time zones, is the development of “monumental time” pauses or suspension of time in sentimental expressions of normative belonging such as observance of national anthems, mourning, and holidays as well as family time. (3-6, 40) As Freeman gives an account of the ever-pervasiveness of chrononormativity she implies that no single strategy will suffice to resist the many ways normative temporality colonizes the mind.


Temporal Dissonance

In a published account of a conference debate titled “The Antisocial Thesis in Queer Theory” the year after No Future was published, Edelman and Muñoz’s ideas came into conflict as participants. Edelman claims to be able to dispense with the ideas of queer utopians on the account that he had already addressed that position in his book. Of this he says, “neither liberal inclusionism, with its ultimate faith in rational comprehension, nor the redemptive hope of producing brave new social collectivities can escape the insistence of the antisocial in social organization” (Caserio et al. 821). He adds a claim that is not outwardly expressed in his book; his approach to negativity is a necessity of the Symbolic, however it can only be sustained on the promise of a future resolution of this antagonism, much like capitalism only being able to survive by finding and exploiting new markets. (Dinshaw 822) Here Edelman might be offer a solution through the negative implication that the destruction of the antagonistic mechanisms of the Symbolic could lead to a different way of being.  

In response to Edelman’s approach, Muñoz says, “shouting down utopia is an easy move. Perhaps even easier than smearing psychoanalytic or deconstructive reading practices with the charge of nihilism. [...] I am not interested in a notion of the radical that merely connotes extremity, righteousness, or affirmation of newness” (825). Muñoz charges Edelman with promoting a stultifying temporality of a broken-down present. These initial reactions to No Future were tempered before the publication of Cruising Utopia, as he later gives more consideration to the importance of Edelman’s ideas. (826)

Edelman was also a divisive force throughout “Theorizing Queer Temporalities,” a roundtable discussion mediated by Freeman. Freeman’s opening question asking participants why they have turned towards time in their work, is met by criticism by Edelman. He claims that implicit in this question is that time is historical and demands to be understood through historicization, which “reinforces the consensus that bathes the petrified river of history in the illusion of constant fluency” (Dinshaw 181). When Freeman asks if it is possible to use new theories of relationality as a form of future making, but not in the name of the future, Edelman’s reply is stanch and uncompromising and he slights the other participants in his last comments. While responding to Judith Halberstam’s warning against a new orthodoxy of negativity, he insists “that critical negativity, lacking a self-identity, can never become an orthodoxy” (195). He claims that the fantasy of a viable alternative to normative temporality cannot be defended on the grounds of a strategy of resistance as it offers nothing more than “futurism redemptive temporality gussied up with a rainbow flag” (195). He says that what is needed is a reconsideration of the present and “imagine anew, ‘we’re here, we’re queer, get used to it.’” This reference to the AID’s epidemic era of activism might suggest that Edelman is not entirely opposed to looking to the past for queer tactics of resistance in the present.

 

Queer Junctures

The rendering of two valid, penetrating arguments as incompatible, such those made by Muñoz and Edelman, forces readers to situate their ideas as a  vulgar binary. Because Freeman published Time Binds six years after No Future and one year after Cruising Utopia, she had the opportunity to respond to the effects of these books. She sporadically mentions both authors throughout text. Rather than reconciling these works as a dialectic in which a truer, better position can be reached through synthesis, she positions her argument as offering a set of temporal resistances to normativity. This allows both Muñoz and Edelman’s work to be independently valid as methods under such a set.

Freeman’s multiple textual strategies allow for an openness of form that accommodates seemingly disparate positions. The first of which I will explore is something of an impossible compassion; an intersubjective relation that is not premised on normative formulations of compassion. Edelman dedicates one of the chapters of No Future to what he calls “Compassion’s Compulsion.” In his critique of compassion, he points out that this “good” is only extended to those subjects in which one can see as a mirror of one’s own ego. (Edelman 89) This means that queerness cannot be extended compassion through a dominant lense, as the Other is incomprehensible by the dominant ego. Compassion, as such, can only be extended to those whom can be intelligible by heteronormative standards. Edelman implies that the drive to compassion is compulsive as it fails to overcome dualism through its engagement in the Symbolic, yet is consistently upheld as a valuable, forward-looking endeavor. (90-91) Edelman suggests that, through the queer failure of intelligibility within the Symbolic, the expression of the death drive through jouissance brings queers into contact with the Real, that which is unintelligible, and void of meaning. This contact with this lack of meaning might bring queer subjects closer to developing an ethics of the Real, a mode of being that is not premised on compassion as we know it, but locates the kernel of moral actions as outside of the Symbolic. (101, 108-109)

In contrast to this Real compassion, Muñoz claims real compassion can be achieved through recognition across antagonisms and temporal boundaries. He frames a form of compassion that can be extended in reflection of the utopian havens of public bathrooms of pre-AIDs era. (Muñoz 40-41) Within these grimy spaces, men found solace and solidarity in seeking sex with anonymous strangers, safe from the consequences of heteronormative repression. These sexual utopias made corporeal the shadows of straight-time; ecstatic joy in the dark and dingy spaces neglected by the dominant culture. Many accounts of such scenes describe an unusual temporal and spatial closeness that is engrossing, caring and reassuring, such as the following by Samuel R. Delany, an american author, professor and literary critic:

Cocks passed from mouth to mouth to hand to ass to mouth without ever breaking contact with other flesh for more than seconds; mouth, hand, ass passed over whatever you held out to them, sans interstice; when one cock left, finding a replacement - mouth, rectum, another cock - required moving the head, the hip, the hand no more than an inch, three inches. (Muñoz 51)

Through the “cleaning up” efforts of municipalities, and the death-scare of the AIDs epidemic, these spaces have long disappeared. (Muñoz 52-54) We can consider these spaces in relation to Derrida’s theory of hauntology, a “conceptual tool for the understand of being within the postmodern age of an ‘electronic res publica’: neither living or dead, present or absent.” (42) Muñoz suggests that this ecstatic joy in the shadows of straightness can be comprehended through a form of historical compassion, and can be accessed through collective memory, writings, and errotic imaginings of fucking the ghosts of public bathrooms.

In a chapter dedicated to the topic of Sadomasochism, Freeman discusses the concept of prosthetic memory, which she describes as the practices of extending sexual gratification outside of genital sensations, to elongate the erogenous zones to encompass more of the body, and sometimes extend this beyond the physiological body itself. Of this she says “these spatial extensions of the body, in return, have a temporal logic of their own.” (Freeman Turn 56) She gives the example of a butch lesbian top, for whom a strap-on dildo (or fist, for that matter) might act as a prop for a prosthetic memory of a masculinity that she was not biologically allotted. Another such example is the practice of wearing the skin of the dead in the form of leather-fetish, thus augmenting, constricting, imitating and doubling the natural surface of the body in order to experience selfhood differently. (Freeman 59) These prosthetic memories allow one to exceed the limits of not only their body’s spatial limits, but their temporal limits as they might imagine experience outside of the boundaries of their lifetime. Freeman’s account of prosthetic memory helps make sense of compassion’s compulsion as well as the ghosts of public sex, by considering how sexual practices might drive one to contact the void of the Symbolic through embodying experiences that are not our own, potentially lifted from another time and place where men met in the shadows of straight existance.

A second coalescence of thought is the ways in which Edelman’s sinthomosexuality and Muñoz’s conception of queer failure and virtuosity might be understood through Freeman’s “bad timing.” Edelman develops a figure in opposition to the Child; the Sinthomosexual is someone who cannot submit to the moral law of reproductive futurity through the Symbolic sexual act. Their performance of queer sex is estranged from meaning, thus they compulsively act on the excess of jouissance. Edelman formulated this homosexual subject in reference to Lacan’s sinthome, which describes the particular way in which one knots together the orders of the Symbolic, Imaginary, and the Real. As a sinthomosexual, a subject is unable connect these realms in a way that is intelligible in the normative Symbolic, and thus fails to meet the standards of heterosexual futurity.

Muñoz’s chapter on queer failure and virtuosity describes how queers are cast out of the rhythm of straight time, and this can become a world-making experience. Through a critical distance of disidentification from heteronormative relations to temporality, the politics of failure allow queers to reflect on the void in the map of straight time and discover a nucleus of potentiality. Here, queers can exit the “stale and static lifeworld dominated by the alienation, exploitation and drudgery associated with capitalism or landlordism” (Muñoz 173) and enact self-defined forms of virtuosity.

Freeman describes the queerness of bad timing; the inability to correctly sync one’s body with normative time, the incompetence in an inability to move through time in a way that ensures normalcy. She explores this in regards to the unreproductive quality of queer sex acts, as well as the ways in which the female body is pathologized as non-compliant to the temporal order. Unlike Edelman’s understanding of queer sex as a male-centric shock of orgasmic jouissance, she considers the female body’s capability to elongate this bodily pleasure, potentially leading female sexuality to exist in “slow time.”(Freeman 49) Refreshingly, she also considers that pregnancy might also be understood through a lense of queerness; it is not categorically a heteronormative futurist experience. The fertile body, along with its reproductive potentiality, is a site of multiplicity and copy without an original. The appearance of menstrual blood, gestation, and birth blurs the bounds of the interior and exterior of the subject, marking “the sacrifice of personhood necessary for new forms of embodiment and power,”(Freeman 47) thus encountering the slow time of “the eternal.” (Freeman 46-49) Framing female embodiment outside of heteronormative futurity context reveals the “matrix of mediation under which we live, is both a product of capitalism’s ability to penetrate human consciousness and also as a means by which we may see “behind” that matrix if only momentarily.” (58)

In Freeman’s formulation of the bad timing of female bodies, she makes clear that the failure and virtuosity of being out of sync with chrononormativity allows the subject to gain insight into the mechanisms of the ways in which hegemonic time operates. Arguably, this might momentarily unravel one’s sinthome, allowing them to contact the Real. This concept of the queerness of bad timing expands both Edelman Muñoz’s ideas of the Sinthomosexual and queer failure/virtuosity.

As a final example of the ways in which Freeman’s work establishes a wide set of queer temporal possibilities, erotohistoriography appears to be a reimagining of what Edelman terms jouissance and Muñoz calls ecstasy. These embodied experiences depict queer sexual acts as a site for resistance from straight time. The jouissance of queer acts expresses the excess in the Symbolic order through a movement beyond the pleasure principle of Eros; beyond the distinctions of pleasure and pain. Jouissance embodies the Real internal to the Symbolic, and it is “a violent passage beyond the bounds of identity, meaning, and law.” (Edelman 25) Further, it tears the fabric of the Symbolic reality, unraveling the solidarity of every object. Jouissance expresses the death drive, and asserts of a void of meaning and of disidentification.

In the final chapter of Cruising Utopia Muñoz invites the reader to “take ecstasy with me.” He offers a temporary/temporal escape from a stultifying straight present through carnal and pharmaceutical means. Muñoz utilizes Heidegger’s reflections in Being and Time to draw connections between timeliness and ecstasy. In this formulation, experiencing ecstasy is a unity of temporal states, and it brings together the past (having-been), present (becoming), and future (the making-present). (Muñoz 186) He also makes the point that time and space are not coordinates, as time is prior to space. He says that envisioning queerness as a horizon is “a modality of ecstatic time in which the temporal stranglehold that I describe as straight time is interrupted or stepped out of.” (Muñoz 32) This is enacted through bodily ecstasy, whether that of sensual or contemplative considerations of the past, present, and future. He uses Lacan’s Seminar xx reference to Lorenzo Bernini’s The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa as a compelling image of the Other or feminine Jouissance. Muñoz says, in a tone that is unmistakably directed at Edelman, “ecstasy and jouissance thus both represent an individualist move outside the self.” (186) Beyond the singular shattering of jouissance, taking ecstasy with one another in as many ways as possible, “can perhaps be our best way of enacting a queer time that is not yet here but nonetheless always potentially dawning.” (187)

Edelman and Muñoz’s theories of the temporal nature of embodied sexual experience are incongruous until Freeman introduces her notion of erotohistography. As she explains, this approach “does not write the lost object into the present so much as encounter it already in the present, by treating the present as a hybrid.” (Freeman Time 95) This allows queer erotics to exist anachronically, or in multiple tenses. Using the body for a tool to encounter history, the subject may come into contact with historical material in a way that elicits a pleasurable response and forms one's understanding of other have-beens or ways of being. This might open the potential for “producing sensations that are unintelligible by present sexual or gender codes.” (104) Freeman explores Orlando: A Biography, a 1928 novel by Virginia Woolf. The title character lives for hundreds of years, experiencing a mysterious sex change at the age of thirty and spending many years of their life swapping between gender performances. (107) Throughout this tale, there is strong freudian castration imagery as Orlando experiences a male to female transition, and subtle allusions to the phallic useage of the fingers and hands in female erotics.

Freeman’s erotohistoriography describes the queer corpus as encountering temporality as a polymorph; the ability to shapeshift through and penetrate history. (116) In this understanding of pleasure as connected to history, we might consider queer sexual act a mimetic faculty, which relies on meaning being produced via contiguity so that “the semiotic can be both historicized and brought into view, developed like invisible ink (or like braille) through a tactile version of thinking.” (124-125) In relation to Muñoz’s ecstasy and Edelman’s Jouissance, erotohistography situates itself as bringing the subject into contact with unintelligible through historical material, as it places queer bodies outside of themselves, towards the ecstasy of temporal unity.

 

Stepping Out

As Freeman illustrated, chrononormativity permeates our consciousness in ways that are nearly incomprehensible and inarticulable. This means that developing multiple strategies of resistance for countering these encroachments of straight time. Muñoz and Edelman’s singular accounts of normative temporality and queer resistance to this form of hegemonic force have contained their arguments in a paradoxical relationship that might be crudely characterized by their sways towards modernism and postmodernism, respectively. Freeman, on the other hand, has chosen a position of non-position. Her work is situated as a set of possible approaches to the dilemma of heteronormative temporality. Her work makes a proposition; she introduces the potential for the reconciliation of the modern and the postmodern, not through means of orthodox dialectic, but by continuing to honour and make sense of these approaches as individually valid pursuits.

As a discipline marked by difference, it is important to honour that difference within queer theory and see this commitment through. It is invaluable to allow a multiplicity of diverse queer theories, such as the ones presented by Muñoz and Edelman to be deeply devoted to their own specialization. However, Freeman’s undertaking is different; as an allegorist she is tasked with picking up disparate artifacts and holding them up for speculation. As such, theories of difference, non-normativity and queerness should develop the ability to transmit information between specialized approaches.


Works Cited

Caserio, Robert L., Lee Edelman, Judith Halberstam, José Esteban Muñoz and Tim Dean. “The Antisocial Thesis in Queer Theory”. PMLA, Vol. 121, No. 3 (May, 2006). Modern Language Association, 2006. pp. 819-828.
Dinshaw, Carolyn, Lee Edelman, Roderick A. Ferguson, Carla Freccero, Elizabeth Freeman, Judith Halberstam, Annamarie Jagose, Christopher Nealon, Nguyen Tan Hoang. “Theorizing Queer Temporalities: A Roundtable Discussion.” GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, Volume 13. Duke University Press, 2007. pp. 177-195.
Edelman, Lee. No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive. North Carolina: Duke University Press, 2004. Print. Freeman, Elizabeth. Time Binds: Queer Temporalities, Queer Histories. North Carolina: Duke University Press, 2010. Print.
Freeman, Elizabeth. “Turn the Beat Around: Sadomasochism, Temporality, History”. Differences : A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies Volume 19, Number 1. Brown University, 2008.
Muñoz, José Esteban. Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity. New York: NYU Press, 2009. Print.

 

Works Consulted

Benjamin, Walter. “On Some Motifs in Baudelaire”. Illuminations. Ed Hannah Arendt. New York: Schocken Books, 1968. Print. PP 155-200.
Bloch, Ernst. The Principle of Hope. Trans. Neville Plaice, Stephen Plaice, and Paul Knight. Volume One. Cambridge, MIT Press, 1995. Print.
Lacan, Jacques. The Ethics of Psychoanalysis 1959-1960: The Seminar of Jacques Lacan Book vii. Trans. Dennis Porter. Routledge, 1992. Print.