Comparatively Queer: Interrogating Identities across Time and Cultures

Hardcover | September 15, 2010

EditorWilliam J. Spurlin, Jarrod Hayes, Margaret R. Higonnet

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These innovative essays take a comparative approach to queer studies while simultaneously queering the field of comparative literature, strengthening the interdisciplinarity of both.  By focusing not only on comparative praxis, but also on interrogating our assumptions and categories of analysis, Comparatively Queer powerfully transforms the paradigms of comparison.

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These innovative essays take a comparative approach to queer studies while simultaneously queering the field of comparative literature, strengthening the interdisciplinarity of both.  By focusing not only on comparative praxis, but also on interrogating our assumptions and categories of analysis, Comparatively Queer powerfully transfor...

Jarrod Hayes is Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies at the University of Michigan.   Margaret R. Higonnet is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Connecticut and co-chair of the Gender Study Group at Harvard University’s Centre for European Studies.   William J. Spurlin is Professor of...

other books by William J. Spurlin

Format:HardcoverDimensions:244 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.62 inPublished:September 15, 2010Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230104363

ISBN - 13:9780230104365

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Comparing Queerly, Queering Comparison: Theorizing Identities between Cultures, Histories, and Disciplines—Jarrod Hayes, Margaret R. Higonnet, and William J. Spurlin * PART I: Crossing Time * Queer from the Very Beginning: (En)gendering the Vernacular in Medieval France—Kofi Campbell * Figural Historiography: Dogs, Humans, and Cynanthropic Becomings—Carla Freccero * Mapping Sapphic Modernity—Susan S. Lanser *  “Fair Is Not Fair”: Queer Possibility and Fairground Performers in Western Europe and the United States, 1870–1935—Francesca Canadé Sautman * Time’s Corpus: On Sexuality, Historiography, and the Indian Penal Code—Anjali Arondekar * PART II: Crossing Cultures * Double Trouble: Doing Gender in Hong Kong—Marie-Paule Ha * Universal Particularities: Conceptions of Sexuality, Nationality, and Culture in France and the United States—Thomas J.D. Armbrecht * “Words Create Worlds”: Rethinking Genre in the Animal Fables of Suniti Namjoshi and Vikram Seth—Bianca Jackson * Genet among the Palestinians: Sex, Betrayal, and the Incomparable Real—James Penney * Afterword: Comparisons Worth Making—Valerie Traub

Editorial Reviews

“Addressing a welter of topics ranging from Sapphic tales in early seventeeth-century Europe to animal fables in India, from the tensions between Western bio-medicine and Chinese cosmology in modern-day Hong Kong to the tensions between gender and sexual legislation in contemporary France and the United Status, and from circuses, fairs, and sideshows in Western Europe to Palestinian refugee camps in the Middle East, Comparatively Queer constitutes a lucid and lively intervention in the newly intersecting fields of queer and comparative literary and cultural studies.  It boasts a scintillatingly diverse yet deliciously intersecting array of scholars committed to interdisciplinary work at the interstices of historical and geo-political borders and makes a profound contribution to the productive “troubling” of the Anglo-American and presentist assumptions of much queer theory as well as of the Eurocentric and nationally circumscribed assumptions of much literary and cultural compartivism.  Proudly hybrid, even ‘promiscuous,’ in its methodologies, styles, approaches, and objects of study, Comparatively Queer is sure to be a ‘must read’ for scholars and students of sexuality, gender, history, culture, and, indeed, life in an increasingly globalized world.”--Brad Epps, Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Harvard University“This collection is about crossing borders of every sort; it is about queering not only gender but also time, space, and comparison itself.  It explores the possibility of, and the implications for, denaturalizing all sorts of subject formations: sexual, national, racial, social.  Hayes, Higonnet, and Spurlin and their colleagues continue the gender studies work of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and others in a boldly energetic, transnational, and transcultural manner.  The nine essays and framing commentaries bring together lives and works that span more than 2,000 years and cover the globe.  Additionally they bring queer and gender studies into a productive dialectic with postcolonial, transnational, and critical race studies.  Each essay undertakes what the editors term ‘crossings,’ but each employs the logic of comparison, of crossing from A to B, so as to interrogate rather than to reify binary logics and bright boundaries. Whether in the context of Renaissance Neo-Classicism, Postcolonial Hong Kong, Genet's Palestine, or the Indian diaspora, the ‘queering of comparison’ and the comparing of queerness is richly explored in this volume and is celebrated in theoretically rigorous and wholly original ways.  At the same time, as Traub notes in her afterword, the authors' persistent attention to both difference and incommensurability ensures an ethical core to this intrepid collection.   Scholars interested in topics as varied as women's studies, post-nationalism, medieval studies, nineteenth-century popular culture, animal studies, and international law will find the essays that reconfigure our intellectual terrain so as to invite further comparative queerings.”--Elizabeth M. Richmond-Garza, Director, Program in Comparative Literature and University Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor, University of Texas, Austin