Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Neutrality in Queer Theory
by Simmons, Michael, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine, 2020, 200; 27739155
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation interprets the meaning of U.S. queer theory’s rhetoric of identity neutrality or impersonality in the context of antisocial queer theory’s reception of the identity politics in queer theory’s constituent and sibling theories, namely feminist theory, psychoanalytic theory (especially of sexual difference), utopian queer of color critique, and Afropessimism. The chapters collectively offer a comparative analysis of the rhetoric of identity neutrality across the work and reception of queer theorists of the subversion of identity, particularly Judith Butler, Leo Bersani, José Muñoz, John Paul Ricco, Tim Dean, and Lee Edelman. The first two chapters complicate the issue by tracking conceptual inheritances and disciplinary citations in the queer rhetoric of gender neutrality and sexual difference within the scope of public bathroom politics, and the second and third chapters clarify the rhetorical devices that queer theorists use to negotiate with the tension between psychoanalytic sexual difference and racial positioning in antisocial queer theory and Afropessimism respectively. Each chapter reframes the rhetorical principles and potentials of queer neutrality by building from and offering close (re)readings of Jacques Lacan’s accounts of: urinary segregation, fixations on sexual and racial difference, psychoanalytic neutrality, and masochism.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Amiran, Eyal
Commitee: Terada, Rei, Farbman, Herschel
School: University of California, Irvine
Department: Comparative Literature - Ph.D.
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 82/1(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Womens studies, Comparative literature, LGBTQ studies
Keywords: Afropessimism, Antisocial queer theory, Fortnite, Gender-neutral public bathrooms, Identity neutrality, Psychoanalytic neutrality
Publication Number: 27739155
ISBN: 9798662412033
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