After Queer Theory : The Limits of Sexual Politics - download pdf or read online

By James Penney

After Queer Theory makes the provocative declare that queer concept has run its direction, made out of date by means of the elaboration of its personal common sense inside of capitalism. James Penney argues that faraway from signalling the top of anti-homophobic feedback, even though, the top of queer provides the social gathering to reconsider the relation among sexuality and politics.

Through a severe go back to Marxism and psychoanalysis (Freud and Lacan), Penney insists that how you can implant sexuality within the box of political antagonism is sarcastically to desert the exhausted premise of a politicised sexuality.

After Queer Theory argues that it can be crucial to wrest sexuality from the useless finish of identification politics, commencing it as much as a common emancipatory fight past the achieve of capitalism's powers of commodification.

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As mentioned, Sedgwick draws inspiration from noted Austrian-born British analyst Melanie Klein (1882–1960), whose work, despite enjoying a resurgence in the past decade or so, hasn’t had an especially significant impact on theoretical discourses in the humanities. Describing a world of fantasmatic objects – objects internal to the psyche – and the usually violent relationships the subject entertains with them, Kleinian discourse has much to say about the dynamics of intellectual work. Provocatively, Sedgwick speculates that this facet of Kleinian analysis in fact explains critical theorists’ reluctance to take it up: it hits too close to home.

Unfortunately, Sedgwick’s professed inability to imagine how her intellectual concerns might relate to class struggle and colonial history tells us all we need to know about her deepest political convictions. In particular, her inability to see any relation between her own involvement in the HIV/AIDS crisis 30 Penney T02732 01 text 30 08/10/2013 08:16 currents of queer in the United States and the obscene devastation inflicted by that same crisis, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, is deeply objectionable to say the least.

But Ahmed also writes that ‘[straight] tendencies enable action, in the sense that they allow the straight body, and the heterosexual couple, to extend into space’. By contrast, ‘the queer body does not extend into such space’ (559). With these remarks in mind, Ahmed’s reader is left trying to make sense of an autobiographical description of a publicly known lesbian academic participating in a family gathering at which her body strangely fails to extend into space. Elsewhere in her essay, Ahmed refers to Merleau-Ponty’s idea that consciousness is shaped by the body’s ‘task and situation’ (561), what the philosopher calls the virtual body.

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