(Anti)Queer : introduction
McKee, Alan (1999) (Anti)Queer : introduction. Social Semiotics, 9(2), pp. 165-170.
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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|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Keywords:||queer theory, filmic texts|
|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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