Teaching “Sex in Public” (1998) a few months ago while in the middle of reading Cruel Optimism, I was struck anew by the moment when Berlant and Warner confront Biddy Martin’s critique of an aversion to the ordinary in … Continue reading “On Cruel Optimism”
Lauren Berlant’s Cruel Optimism risks thinking the utopian in ways that are both bold and revelatory. My reflections on Berlant’s already influential book open with me taking the liberty of positioning Berlant’s work alongside my own writing on utopia. … Continue reading “Living the Wrong Life Otherwise”
Sex work, which I knew nothing about while standing with deep longing and trepidation moving in my body, was not what I intended to provide. No, I wanted to perform love work and traveling to the netherworld of ambiguity was, in my mind, well-worth it. I sought after liberation: freedom from the anxieties of heteronormativitity. And, if I am honest, I wanted to have boundless sex with another man in a “world” that did not create me, but in one that I created. And isn’t it the case that we, queers, are often in search of other worlds because we have been shamed in this one? Read more
Science fictions never present the future, only “a significant distortion of the present,” as Delany wrote in 1984. But they also distort the present of anyone reading at any time, even the text’s own future. The contours of Dhalgren’s disintegrating city belong to the wake of 1960s countercultures and social movements, to a sexual and racial moment whose history uninformed new generations of readers will learn as they read, even if they fail to recognize it. Sexual pleasure in Delany’s work links the past and present and lets a different future feel possible, even when it takes place within structuring limitations.
On Sunday June 26, 2011, my wife and I, along with our daughter and son-in-law, were on the M15 bus traveling downtown to Chinatown for dinner. We had just left the celebration of a lifetime at the annual LGBT Pride … Continue reading “The Trouble with Tiaras: Facing Marriage Equality Head-on”
There are many things lost in the naming of a death as a “gay youth suicide.” I want to focus on two aspects of this naming: one, what is contained in the category of sexuality and two, what … Continue reading “Ecologies of Sex, Sensation, and Slow Death”
This talk, drawn from David L. Eng’s recent book The Feeling of Kinship, has been canceled and will be re-scheduled for 2011.
As we exit a more contentious than usual month of Gay Pride, Social Text brings you this dossier of critical appreciations of long-standing collective member José Esteban Muñoz’s new book, Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity. Read responses from Lauren Berlant, Barbara Browning, Gayatri Gopinath, and Ricardo Ortiz. Muñoz responds to his responses, and performance art legend Vaginal Davis contributes an original illustration inspired by Cruising Utopia.
As I sat down to write these comments, I found myself thinking of another time and place, over ten years ago, when I initially encountered José Muñoz’s first book Disidentifications: Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics. Upon … Continue reading “The Utopian in the Everyday”
My title plays with as it traces a number of imbedded citations. First it conjoins the titles of the two texts that will concern, and, in their conjunction, provoke, me here . One echoes the title of José Esteban Muñoz’s … Continue reading “"Good as Yesterday"'s Queer Futurity: Muñoz with Muñoze”
Let’s think about the “then and there” in the subtitle of Cruising Utopia: the Then and There of Queer Futurity, for these deictics are insistently aligned with the now-central question of how to induce utopian futures from within a negating present. The answer of course is that the aesthetic provides the affective ballast and concrete means to induce exuberant futures.
These responses to Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity situate the project in extremely valuable and useful ways. These readers are all ideal for me: thus indicating my sense of ideality as incalculable and expansive. In each … Continue reading “Response”
Social Text collective member Lisa Duggan is among the speakers at this conference to be held 24-26 June, 2010 at the Institute for Cultural Inquiry in Berlin. Desiring Just Economies / Just Economies of Desire, according to it’s organizers, will “explore how desire not only sustains current economies, but also carries the potential for inciting new forms of understanding and doing economy.” Read the full conference statement and get more details here.