Unhistorical Shakespeare: Queer Theory in Shakespearean Literature and Film

Hardcover | August 15, 2008

byMadhavi Menon

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Unhistorical Shakespeare argues that the way in which we study history has significant bearing on what desire we study, and how we study it. Menon argues that our embrace of difference as the template for relating past and present produces a hetero temporality in which chronology determines identity. In turn, such an understanding of history fixes sexual identity as the domain of the present and relegates nebulous desire to a thing of the past. In contrast to this temporal-sexual reification, Unhistorical Shakespeare outlines the idea of homohistory, which questions the fundamental historicist assumptions of teleology, facticity, citation, origins, and authenticity to lay bare their investments in compulsory hetero temporality.

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Unhistorical Shakespeare argues that the way in which we study history has significant bearing on what desire we study, and how we study it. Menon argues that our embrace of difference as the template for relating past and present produces a hetero temporality in which chronology determines identity. In turn, such an understanding of h...

Madhavi Menon is Associate Professor of Literature, American University. She is the author of Wanton Words: Rhetoric and Sexuality in English Renaissance Drama and the editor of a forthcoming volume of queer essays on Shakespeare.

other books by Madhavi Menon

Indifference to Difference: On Queer Universalism
Indifference to Difference: On Queer Universalism

Kobo ebook|Dec 16 2015

$25.29 online$32.81list price(save 22%)
Format:HardcoverDimensions:208 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.62 inPublished:August 15, 2008Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230606709

ISBN - 13:9780230606708

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Table of Contents

The Argument: Unhistoricism, or Homo-History * Teleology: Spurning Consequence in Venus and Adonis * Facticity: Cymbeline and the “Whore of Historicism” * Citation: Bollywood quotes Much Ado * Origins: Titus Andronicus and the Source of Desire * Authenticity: In Search of Shakespeare (in Love) * The Anecdote: Arabian Nights                                              

Editorial Reviews

"The book is really effective in its application of the 'homohistorical' way of reading to Shakespeare's (and others') texts.  The argument is theorized with sophistication, and the analysis of the texts is refreshing, offering a new perspective on current approaches to Shakespeare.  Menon's study would be of great use to any scholar looking to discuss sexuality in Shakespeare's works."--Sixteenth Century Journal“A series of original interventions in the field of sexuality studies and Shakespeare studies, Unhistorical Shakespeare critiques historicism's respect for chronology, teleology, and ‘difference’ in relation to desire, which, Menon argues, does not, in its perversity, submit to classification, nor respect temporal and other normativizations. This is a book that performs its critique by playfully disrespecting chronology, literary influence, genre, register, and tone. It dares to argue that texts about homosexuality may be functioning in the service of ‘straightening out’ history and vice versa.”--Carla Freccero, Professor of Literature, Feminist Studies, and History of Consciousness and Director, Center for Cultural Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz "Unhistorical Shakespeare is a sustained performance at a very high caliber of thought, and it will make a strong intervention in current historicizing work by early modern literary critics." Jonathan Goldberg, Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor, EmoryUniversity