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(Anti)Queer : introduction

McKee, Alan (1999) (Anti)Queer : introduction. Social Semiotics, 9(2), pp. 165-170.

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Abstract

The ‘anti- of ‘(Anti)Queer’ is a queer anti. In particle physics, a domain of science which was for a long time peddled as ultimately knowable, rational and objective, the postmodern turn has made everything queer (or chaotic, as the scientific version of this turn is perhaps more commonly named). This is a world where not only do two wrongs not make a right, but a negative and positive do not calmly cancel each other out to leave nothing, as mathematics might suggest. When matter meets with anti-matter, the resulting explosion can produce not only energy - heat and light? - but new matter. We live in a world whose very basics are no longer the electron and the positron, but an ever proliferating number of chaotic, unpredictable - queer? - subatomic particles. Some are ‘charmed’, others merely ‘strange’ . Weird science indeed. The ‘Anti-’ of ‘Anti-queer’ does not place itself neatly into binaries. This is not a refutation of all that queer has been or will be. It is explicitly a confrontation, a challenge, an attempt to take seriously not only the claims made for queer but the potent contradictions and silences which stand proudly when any attempt is made to write a history of the term. Specifically, ‘Anti-Queer’ is not Beyond Queer, the title of Bruce Bawer’s 1996 book which calmly and self-confidently explains the failings of queer, extols a return to a liberal political theory of cultural change and places its own marker on queer as a movement whose purpose has been served. We are not Beyond Queer. And if we are Anti-Queer, it is only to challenge those working in the arena to acknowledge and work with some of the facts of the movement’s history whose productivity has been erased with a gesture which has, proved, bizarrely, to be reductive and homogenising.

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ID Code: 42010
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: queer theory, filmic texts
DOI: 10.1080/10350339909360430
ISSN: 1035-0330
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > FILM TELEVISION AND DIGITAL MEDIA (190200)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Disciplines > Film & Television
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1999 Taylor & Francis
Copyright Statement: This is an electronic version of an article published in [Social Semiotics, 9(2), pp.165-170]. [Social Semiotics] is available online at informaworld.
Deposited On: 17 Jun 2011 08:09
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2011 14:05

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