Eileen A. Joy
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

42nd International Congress on Medieval Studies
Western Michigan University
10-13 May 2007

Session #322—Queer Theory and Feminist Theory: Affinities and Enmities
Sponsor: Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship and Society for the Study of Homosexuality in the Middle Ages
Friday, May 11, 3:30 p.m. (Valley III, Stinson Lounge)

Beyond Feminist, Gender, Queer, Everything Studies: Notes Toward an Enamored Medieval Studies

Figure 1. Still image from Palindromes (Todd Solondz, 2004)

. . . . this rumination, or notes, or manifesto, is not dedicated but devoted to the provocations and friendship of Jeffrey Cohen, Karl Steel, and Michael O’Rourke, all of whom have helped me to rethink what I think I mean when I say “queer” and when I say “human” . . . .

. . . . a special gratitude is reserved for the online and late-night interlocutions of Michael Uebel, whose insistence that the point of theory is to suspend the finality of deep structures, and to elicit and amplify the forces of potential change” is always productively disturbing the quiet of my studies . . . .

In his book Medieval Identity Machines, Jeffrey Cohen argues that, “[u]nlike straightforward histories of sex, queer theory joins constructivist strains of feminism to emphasize the contingency of identities that that have so far successfully passed as solid, monolithic, timeless.”[1] Queer theory is, further, a force of disillusionment that serves as “the discomfiting limit of any circumspective system (of space, of time, of identity) that parcels the world into discrete phenomena and impossibly immobile categories.”[2] Ultimately, for Cohen, queer theory, especially of a certain Deleuzan bent that emphasizes flows, movements, and intensities over centrisms and rigid strata, helps us to see “the limits of the human as a conceptual category and demarcates a new terrain . . . where identity, sexuality, and desire are no longer constrained by ontology, ‘muscle,’ or lonely residence in a singular and merely human body.”[3] And it is, I must admit, this idea of the “merely human body” as a “lonely residence” that, ever since I first read it over two years ago, has stayed with me as a kind of sadness I can’t get over. It is the spur, for the time being, of all my thinking in these matters.

Cohen’s description of a queer studies that enjoins a contructivist feminism resonates with Judith Halberstam’s and Ira Livingston’s posthumanism, in which “[t]he human body itself is no longer part of ‘the family of man’ but a zoo of posthumanities,” “sexuality is a dispersed relation between bodies and things,” and there is no such thing as a singular self, only assembled some-nesses of being and becoming.[4] While queer theory could be said to have begun with specific human and even posthuman bodies—with their indeterminate and illicit flows and intensities and, let’s say, their once-unspeakable and subversive desires—queer theory today, in the recent words of David Eng, has become “subject-less,” admitting of “no fixed political referent.”[5] As a term, queer cannot be allowed to stray from what might be called its essential contingency, in the sense that it must always pose a certain resistance to whatever is considered fixed or “normal,” an ontological state of affairs that is always changing over time. In this sense, queer studies is about everything, and even, following Carolyn Dinshaw’s lead, about “touching” and making queer “affective contact”[6] with everything: it is about sex and sexuality as always, but it is also about race, religion, empire, immigration, globalization, citizenship, sovereignty, terrorism, etc. And in another sense, queer theory is also now about the end of everything we think we know, about sex and sexuality and human bodies, but also about history and time. And therefore, in the Introduction to their edited volume Queering the Middle Ages, Glenn Burger and Steven Kruger write that queer is a kind of “logic of the preposterous” that disturbs temporality and “suggests that the stabilization of a sequential ‘pre’ and ‘post,’ cause and effect, might be thought otherwise.”[7] Therefore, queer history is “a history thought otherwise—in Carolyn Dinshaw’s resonant formulation, a history that ‘touches’ us both queerly and intimately, that we in turn rewrite with a ‘queer touch’.”[8] And for the early modernists led by Jonathan Goldberg and Madhavi Menon, queering “requires what we might term ‘unhistoricism’,” and even “homohistory,” which instead of “being the history of homos, this history would be invested in suspending the determinate sexual and chronological differences while expanding the possibilities of the nonhetero, with all its connotations of sameness, similarity, proximity, and anachronism.”[9]

According to David Eng, queer studies is also now participating in what Eng calls a “queer liberalism” (although I take this as the wildly hopeful view) that “marks an unsettling though perhaps not unexpected attempt to reconcile the radical political aspirations of queer studies’ subjectless critique with the contemporary liberal demands of a nationalist gay and lesbian U.S. citizen-subject petitioning for rights and recognition before the law.”[10] Judith Butler outlines the political dilemma this state of affairs occasions, when she writes that,

On the one hand, it is important to mark how the field of intelligible and speakable sexuality is circumscribed, so that we can see how . . . the terms of thinkability are enforced by the narrow debates over who and what will be included in the norm. On the other hand, there is always the possibility of savoring the status of unthinkability, if it is a status, as the most critical, the most radical, the most valuable. As the sexually unrepresentable, such sexual possibilities can figure the sublime within the contemporary field of sexuality, a site of pure resistance, a site unco-opted by normativity. But how does one think politics from such a position?[11]

It may be that in this queer “savoring” of “the status of unthinkability,” certain queer bodies and lives—figured as homosexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, not-“straight,” sexual dissidents, what-have-you—begin to recede, to be replaced by anyone who locates herself in the outland geography of what Deleuze and Guattari mapped as “n minus one,”[12] in much the same way that, despite its acknowledgement of feminism as one of its chief concerns and allies, female bodies, or “women” more broadly speaking, have also receded. Heterosexuality and heteronormativity are also being dismantled as categories, and even, states of being, and while I am in full agreement with Karma Lochrie (following the lead of James Schultz)[13] regarding the necessity of abandoning the idea of a premodern heteronormativity, and that we need “alternative formations for understanding medieval sexualities that are not so dependent on the strict divisions of heterosexual and homosexual,”[14] which in turn, in the words of Jonathan Katz, will help us to see that “the sex-normal, the sex-natural, the different-sex erotic, and the specifically ‘heterosexual’ have a history of changing, often opposed, contradictory, and socially contested definitions”[15]—we never were, and therefore cannot be now, heterosexual—at the same time, I think we also have to grapple with what I believe are the longstanding historical problems wrought by the irreducibility of sexual difference, and by the various resulting gender and sex ontologies in which “woman” often stands in as the primary carrier of certain mobile and threatening disruptions and disorders. We certainly need ways of discussing gender that move beyond modalities of sexual and other types of dimorphism, but the primacy of sexual diachronicity, in my mind, can never be overlooked. There is a certain fixity of sexual bifurcation in our biological history which, nevertheless, makes variation and unpredictable transformations possible—which makes, frankly, queer possible—or, in the words of Elizabeth Grosz, explicating Darwin’s work in terms of what it provides for the reconceptualization of feminist and cultural theory, “sexual difference is the strategy life has developed to ensure its maximum variation and proliferation. It is the very motor of life’s self-variation, life’s most ingenious invention for its own variability, regeneration, self-surpassing, and elaboration.”[16] In this sense, we have never been homo, but we have always been hetero-queer.

The term “woman,” of course, has no fixed, essential meaning—this I learned from postmodernism and I’m not stupid—but, with Sara Ahmed, I would argue that, while the “general field of discursivity within which ‘woman’ is articulated cannot be arrested,” it “remains partially fixed or stabilized by relations of force.” Further, “[t]he war of signification takes place at the level of embodiment” and the signifier “woman” can never be emptied of “the open and complicated history of its enunciation which overdetermines the lived, corporeal experiences of women.”[17] Women, I have decided, are the most queer figures of all, or, as Leo Bersani puts it, “nothing is more threatening to the culturally enforced boundaries between men and women than a man participating in the jouissance of real or fantasmic female sexuality.”[18] For this and other reasons I see feminist theory, and also feminist politics, of primary importance right now—the precondition for queer studies, and queer politics, as it were, and this can only be overlooked, or glossed over, at our peril. But I don’t really want to talk about that. At least, not today.

What I am more interested in talking about today is a different sort of peril, occasioned by what I am going to call the turning away from the desire for a certain (re)productive and hetero-generativity, a turning away that is most marked in queer studies by what some are calling the anti-social, or anti-utopian, thesis, figured most prominently by Leo Bersani’s claim, in his book Homos, that, “between oppression now and freedom later there may have to be a radical break with the social itself” and it may be that “only ‘the homosexual’ can make the ethical necessity of betrayal intelligible,”[19] and also by Lee Edelman’s argument, in his book No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive, that “the fate of the queer is to figure the fate that cuts the thread of futurity”—to “[f]uck the social order and the Child in whose name we’re collectively terrorized” and to embrace the jouissance of a death drive “from which everything ‘human’ must turn its face.”[20]

Although I am reluctant to conflate Bersani’s and Edelman’s thinking (and I actually think they are doing very different things in these two books), nothing illustrates Edelman’s embracing the jouissance of the death drive “from which everything ‘human’ must turn its face” better than the scene of two men fucking “from behind” without looking at each other on a rooftop at the supposed “end of the world” in Genet’s novel Funeral Rites that Bersani explicates with such precision in Homos. This is the scene set at the end of World War II in which, as the Allies are entering Paris, the German soldier Erik “fucks the young collaborator Riton on the rooftop of an abandoned apartment building where the two of them, along with some other German soldiers, have been hiding out during the liberation of Paris,” and where, in Genet’s words, they “were not loving one in the other, they were escaping from themselves over the world, in full view of the world, in a gesture of victory.”[21] Bersani wants us to understand that this is “sexual pleasure (a volupté) separate from sexual intimacy,” and the cultural “injunction to find ourselves, and each other, in the sexual is silenced as, the Nazi and the traitor looking not at each other but in the same direction, the thrust of Erik’s penis propels him and Riton into the impersonal Paris night.”[22] Ultimately, the future that Erik and Riton are looking at, instead of each other, while fucking with an intensity born from a suicidal helplessness which is also a powerful renunciation of history, “must somehow emerge from the radical homo-ness of their homosexual adventure, from their refusal, or inability, to love anything other than themselves—which might be translated politically as their failure to accept a relation with any given social arrangement.”[23] Naturally, Erik kills Riton by shooting him after fucking him and then later is killed himself by French freedom fighter. Murder is the only way to "top" that kind of sex.

First it was sex, now death, or in Bersani’s case, a death-through-sex which refuses the social and the relational but which might also open onto a new fertility (but I have my doubts)—does this sound familiar to anyone? As José Estaban Muñoz wrote recently in PMLA, this is “the gay white man’s last stand,”[24] and I think I would add that it is the white man’s last stand. It is, further, the man’s last stand. It is a kind of fevered wet dream of a certain masculine force that desires to fuck the whole world to death and then calls that “liberatory,” and to paraphrase Madonna channeling James Bond, “I think I’ll die another day.”

* * *

Could it be that what we need now is a radical philosophy of love and hope and even, a new humanism? In Undoing Gender, Judith Butler writes that the

particular sociality that belongs to bodily life, to sexual life, and to becoming gendered (which is always, to a certain extent, becoming gendered for others) establishes a field of ethical enmeshment with others and a sense of disorientation for the first-person, that is, the perspective of the ego. As bodies, we are always for something more than, and other than, ourselves.[25]

In their essay “Pink Vectors of Deleuze: Queer Theory and Inhumanism,” Jeffrey Cohen and Todd Ramlow write that Butler’s “becoming gendered for others suggests a process formed of alliances with and through others, a process not collapsible to either side of a self/other binary, a process always in motion, changing (performatively) in multiple contexts. More radically, the pack or multiplicity establishes the very ground of possibility for politics and agency,”[26] or, as Butler herself puts it: “Multiplicity is not the death of agency, but its very condition. We misconstrue where action comes from if we fail to understand how multiple forces interact and produce the very dynamism of life.”[27] But an important part of this process of becoming-for-others, as Cohen and Ramlow point out, is the dismantling of the human/non-human divide, for the very ground of the idea of deviancy from the norm is, in Butler’s word, “the inhuman, the beyond human, the less than human, the border that secures the human in its ostensible reality,” and we must learn, finally, “to live and embrace the destruction and rearticulation of the human in the name of a more capacious, and . . . less violent world, not knowing in advance what precise forms our humanness does and will take.”[28]

Not knowing in advance what precise forms our humanness does and will take—this is the point at which, unlike a certain famous medievalist, I am not going to “get medieval on your ass,” but I am going to “get manifesto” on you. I believe that we inhabit a present moment of what I take to be a kind of crisis, at the national level, in what I am going to call hetero-queer (re)productivity, a state of affairs in which a certain sterility of radical human becomings—both experiential and critico-philosophical—has settled in at precisely the same time as the entertainment industry and other corporations have taken over anything that ever did or ever will call itself “radical” and have sold it to us as the best acid trip ever. In the words of Jospeh Kugelmass, one of my favorite bloggers and yet another testament to how frighteningly smart graduate students are these days,

Our lives are already striated by real, irreversible, involuntary change. Calling something like the Internet “radical” is pointless, because the word is actually inadequate. . . . . ultimately, the entities that want the most change, the fastest, are corporations. I’ve seen a corporation turn an entire forest into field of pampas grass in the space of a month. . . . Corporations uproot populations and “create jobs” to take the place of native economies. They introduce new products, new technologies, new additives, new fertilizers, new markets, new kinds of international politics. An excess of history makes a corporation suffer.[29]

Exhibit A for me is a recent advertisement for the Dow Chemical Company that I ran across in a recent New Yorker, which states,

From where we stand, there’s opportunity as far as the eye can see. That’s the power of looking at life through the eyes of the Human Element. . . . In the bond between chemistry and humanity you see the potential for solving human problems. New thinking and new solutions for health, housing, food and water. It is a way of seeing that gives us a way of touching. Issues. Ambitions. Lives. The Human Element. It’s what the Dow Chemical Company is all about.

I can tell you that Dow’s way of touching is nothing near the “affective contact” that Dinshaw has so eloquently advocated for in her work, and my friends, you have already been touched.

Now, as soon as you make pronouncements about a supposed crisis of what I am calling a certain sterility in hetero-queer (re)productivity—both at the level of material life but also of intellectual thought—you immediately have to ask yourself how you know you’re right. You can’t conduct a survey, but what you can do is turn on the television or go to the movies because, in my mind, that’s where all the social and cultural anxieties go to express themselves. And it occurred to me recently, in my incessant surfing of popular culture (and yes, you can call me an addict of the virtual lives playing out across flickering screens, small and large), that the fear of sterility and a certain loss of hetero-generativity is everywhere. And I mean everywhere. First, on Lost, the wildly popular television series about a group of passengers who get stranded on a mysterious tropical island after a plane crash, the passengers soon realize that there is another group on the island whom they dub “the Others.” The Others would appear to be a clandestine and violent group whose chief interest seems to be in abducting children and pregnant women. After one foray into the jungle to try and find the place where the Others are hiding out, an abandoned military-style bunker is discovered and what is inside?—a nursery and a fertility clinic. In the science fiction mystery film The Forgotten, Julianne Moore plays a woman who, while grieving over the loss of her eight-year-old son, is told by her psychiatrist that he never existed and she is supposedly suffering from a false memory psychosis. In point of fact, the supposedly "false" memories of her son are real and it turns out that space aliens have been abducting children and erasing all humanly sentient traces of them on earth.

In probably the creepiest of my examples, Todd Solondz’s film Palindromes, which one reviewer called “a manifesto for despair,”[30] the main character, who is really a kind of anti-heroine, is the thirteen-year-old Aviva Victor, who is played by eight different actors—white, black, thin, heavy, male, female—perhaps to emphasize that she is everyone but also that each one of us is no one in particular. Her name, of course, is a palindrome and why that matters is made most clear by a character, a young man accused of pedophilia, who tells Aviva that people cannot change their basic nature and are ultimately like words that are the same backward as forward. The only epiphany is that there will never be an epiphany. Aviva wants only one thing in life and that is to get pregnant. She wants, further, to have “lots and lots of babies.” When she does get herself knocked up, her mother, in a relentlessly hysterical mode, forces an abortion on her that gets botched, but no one tells Aviva. Still desperate to get pregnant and unaware that she is now lacking ovaries and a uterus, Aviva runs away and enters a kind of “lost in wonderland” landscape in which she wanders with a purpose, looking for someone willing to fertilize her, and it goes without saying, she could care less about the sex. Either as a joke or as a statement of some sort regarding either monstrous or miraculous births, the soundtrack is lifted straight out of Rosemary’s Baby. As much as I abhor the film’s political incorrectness and misanthropy, and while its pedophilic scenes and the subsequent murder of an abortion doctor and one of his children almost made me ill, I couldn’t help but feel that Aviva was a kind of tragic heroine while I was watching the movie: she was a generative principle without generative organs wandering the sterile landscapes of a post-Moral Majority America that ultimately declares her, literally, a “dirty whore.” I wept while watching the film.

Of course, the most famous recent example of a movie obsessed with the question of hetero-reproductivity has to be Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men, which I must point out is radically different than the novel by P.D. James on which the movie is based. With the elimination and revision of certain details in the film version of this parable of the future that is really our present, the Christianizing tones of the novel in which a certain moral and social decadence leads to worldwide sterility, war, and catastrophe—a catastrophe, moreover, that can only be solved in the form of a miracle birth—in the movie adaptation, are lessened. What starts as a Christian parable becomes, instead, a political, but more importantly, a historical lesson. As Slavoj Zizek, who actually makes an appearance on the “extras” feature of the DVD version of Children of Men, puts it,

it is problematic to focus on infertility [in the film] and then say “oh, but you know this biological infertility is really a metaphor for spiritual infertility” or whatever. I think that we should avoid this cheap direct spiritualist reading of the film. . . . the true infertility is the very lack of meaningful historical experience. It’s a society of pure meaningless historical experience. . . . [and] this film gives the best diagnosis of ideological despair of late capitalism. Of a society without history, or to use another term, biopolitics. The basic problem in this society as depicted in the film is literally biopolitics: how to generate, regulate life. But . . . the crucial point is that this obvious fact shouldn’t deceive us. The true despair is precisely that, all historical acts disappear.

I have to say that for myself, and for the BABEL Working Group, who are trying together to formulate a present-minded, hetero-queer medieval studies that might actually go out in the world and do something, if even as what might be called the last passionate gasp of the last act of this performance art called the humanities, it may be that our resistance to a “society without history,” in the words, again, of Joseph Kugelmass, might best be “aimed at protecting those processes of development and change that are slow enough to have a past; resistance derives its strength from the slow time of human life, including the continual grief of repressed cultural or personal identity, and the protracted agonies of living under oppression. Each step forward should be so fully comprehended, and massively parallel, that it endures. It is the only possible approach for [those of us who are] . . . devoted to literature. Works of art help change to ripen, measuring its costs carefully, and calling it by old names.”[31] Here, I see medieval studies as ideally situated to stage creative interventions into a present that would fix the past in a certain “deadly” ways, in order to “open” the future against the horizon of a history that could be said to matter.

But even this will not be enough, for the future truly is out of our reach; it does not belong to us nor should we necessarily even want it—here I agree, if even sadly, with Lee Edelman—and this is why I believe that we must also focus on the present moment of the university as, in Bill Readings’s formulation, a site of ruins where “the question of being-together is raised, raised with an urgency that proceeds from the absence of institutions (such as the nation-state) that have historically served to mask that question.”[32] BABEL dreams of heterotopias, secular utopian communities that would be agonistic and dissensual, but also non-coercive and loving, and ultimately doomed to failure, but that’s for later. Let’s not worry about “later” when we can be right here, now, and together. If only we could cultivate a more serious mindfulness of where we are now, relationally, I honestly believe the future can have better assurances from us, and if it is never to come, well at least we can say we were paying some kind of regard, one rooted in a libidinal attachment to the world, and to each other. Heterotopias are for persons who want to struggle, live, and fail in good company. Following the thought of Kenneth Reinhard on the political theology of the neighbor, a heterotopia opens up in a space “between the family and the polis; it is an act of spacing that maintains the minimum distance required to resist holophrastic fusion (totalitarianism) and possessive individualism (liberal democracy). The space it clears is open, infinite.”[33] This is the queer space that Michael O’Rourke has so lovingly delineated as “roguishly relational in its opening to disciplinary neighbors in ‘an infinite series of possible encounters’ . . . open to the other, the future . . . the coming or the love of the other.”[34] And paraphrasing Betsy McCormick who, in yesterday morning’s BABEL panel cited the song “Cry Me a River,” please don’t tell us that love is too plebian.

I want to conclude with a passage from a beautiful essay, “The Argonaut Folly,” that was recently published in the new intellectual journal n+1, written by Joshua Glenn, that voiced a need for new heterotopias where misfit thinkers and dreamers could not just collaborate, but actually live and strive together in joyful and passionate disharmony. [I have substituted a few words in Glenn’s original passages]:

Everything today encourages us to see the dark side, the folly, the impossibility, not just of utopia but [even] of an anti-utopian heterotopia where we’d have a project in common besides selling our commodified labor, intellectual or otherwise. Everything encourages us to think we face a choice between detached houses in a row, where we cook our dinners in private, or else the gulag. But there can be—can’t there?—community without tyranny. Sure, the company of misfits would make you feel bad sometimes; but it also feels bad to have nothing to look forward to but marriage, work and TV. Maybe [this heterotopia] would always be a failure. But then atomized private life under the market is doomed to failure too, if we think of happiness, excitement, joy, or surprise [as things we want]. You’ve got to pick your failures—and I’d like to fail in good company instead of all on my own. So permit us [this] lonelyhearts ad: [the BABEL Working Group] seeks talented individuals—like [Nathaniel Hawthorne’s] Blithesdale colonists, who’d “gone through such an experience as to disgust them with ordinary pursuits but who were not yet so old, nor had suffered so deeply, as to lose their faith in the better time to come”—who are neither so mature as to be anti-utopian nor so adolescent as to be naively utopian. Write to us [in care of Eileen Joy at ejoy@siue.edu]. I don’t know what we’ll do, once we’ve found one another. But is it too much to ask that you should get in touch?

Why don’t you join us? Not for coitus a tergo, but for a queer kiss.


1. Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, Medieval Identity Machines (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2003), p. 38.

2. Cohen, Medieval Identity Machines, p. 39.

3. Cohen, Medieval Identity Machines, p. 77.

4. Judith Halberstam and Ira Livingston, “Introduction: Posthuman Bodies,” in Posthuman Bodies, ed. Judith Halberstam and Ira Livingston (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995), pp. 3 and 8.

5. David Eng, with Judith Halberstam and José Estaban Muñoz, “What’s Queer About Queer Studies Now?” Social Text 23.3/4 (Fall/Winter 2005): 3 [1–17].

6. Carolyn Dinshaw, quoted in “Theorizing Queer Temporalities: A Roundtable Discussion,” GLQ 13.2/3 (2007): 178 [177–95].

7. Glenn Burger and Steven F. Kruger, “Introduction,” in Queering the Middle Ages, ed. Glenn Burger and Steven F. Kruger (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2001), pp. xi and xii.

8. Burger and Kruger, “Introduction,” in Burger and Kruger, Queering the Middle Ages, p. xvii.

9. Jonathan Goldberg and Madhavi Menon, “Queering History,” PMLA 120.5 (October 2005): 1609 [1608-17].

10. Eng et al., “What’s Queer About Queer Studies Now?” p. 10.

11. Judith Butler, Undoing Gender (London and New York: Routledge, 2004), p. 106.

12. Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. Brian Massumi (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987), p. 6.

13. See James A. Schultz, “Heterosexuality as a Threat to Medieval Studies,” The Journal of the History of Sexuality 15.1 (January 2006): 14-29, and also his book Courtly Love, the Love of Courtliness, and the History of Sexuality (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006).

14. Karma Lochrie, Heterosyncracies: Female Sexuality When Normal Wasn’t (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2005), p. xiv.

15. Jonathan Ned Katz, The Invention of Heterosexuality (New York: Dutton, 1995), pp. 178–79.

16. Elizabeth Grosz, The Nick of Time: Politics, Evolution, and the Untimely (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2004), p. 10.

17. Sara Ahmed, Differences That Matter: Feminist Theory and Postmodernism (Cambridge, Eng.: Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 92 and 93.

18. Leo Bersani, Homos (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1995), pp. 121-22.

19. Bersani, Homos, pp. 176 and 155.

20. Lee Edelman, No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2004), pp. 29 and 109.

21. Bersani, Homos, pp. 164 and 165.

22. Bersani, Homos, p. 165.

23. Bersani, Homos, p. 171.

24. José Estaban Muñoz, “Thinking Beyond Antirelationality and Antiutopianism in Queer Critique,” PMLA 121.3 (May 2006): 825 [825–26].

25. Butler, Undoing Gender, p. 25.

26. Jeffrey J. Cohen and Todd R. Ramlow, “Pink Vectors of Deleuze: Queer Theory and Inhumanism,” Rhizomes 11/12 (Fall 2005/Spring 2006), http://www.rhizomes.net/issue11/cohenramlow.html.

27. Butler, Undoing Gender, p. 194.

28. Butler, Undoing Gender, pp. 218 and 35.

29. Jospeph Kugelmass, “Why I’m Not a Radical,” The Kugelmass Episodes (weblog), http://kugelmass.wordpress.com/2007/05/04/why-im-not-a-radical/.

30. David Edelstein, “Christians, Pedophiles, and Abortion Clinics: Palindromes, just another Todd Solondz movie,” Slate.com 14 April 2005, http://www.slate.com/.

31. Kugelmass, “Why I’m Not a Radical.”

32. Bill Readings, The University in Ruins (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1996), p. 20.

33. Kenneth Reinhard, “Toward a Political Theology of the Neighbor,” in Slavoj Zizek, Eric L. Santner, and Kenneth Reinhard, The Neighbor: Three Inquiries in Political Theology (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005), p. 75.

34. Michael O’Rourke, “The Roguish Future of Queer Studies,” SQS 2 (2006): 36 [22-47].