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continent.  2011 

The Afterlives of Queer Theory

Keywords: Queer Theory , Philosophy

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Abstract:

Were we to accept recent commentators, Queer Theory, is: over, passé, moribund, stagnant; or, at worst, dead, its time and its power to wrench frames having come and gone. Almost since it began we have been hearing about the death(s) of Queer Theory. Yet, despite the rumors of extinction, Queer Theory continues to tenaciously hold on to life, to affirm the promise of the future, even despite the dominant influence of Lee Edelman’s book No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive which encourages us to fuck the future and its coercive politics which are, he tells us, embodied in the fascist face of the Child. With each new book, conference, seminar series, each new masters program, we hear (yet again) that Queer Theory is over. Some argue that the unstoppable train of queer theory came to a halt in the late nineties having been swallowed up by its own fashionability. It had become, contrary to its own anti-assimilationist rhetoric, fashionable, very much included, rather than being the outlaw, it wanted to be. But the books and articles still continue to appear, the conferences continue to be held. And, if it were true that Queer Theory has been assimilated completely, become sedimented, completely domesticated (or at least capable of being domesticated) then it really would be over. Nobody would be reading any more for we would already know what was to come.

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