About Queer Theory and
the Queer Frontiers Website
Some Perspective on the Site:
The Queer Frontiers (QF) Website was my (John Waiblinger) first web authoring project, undertaken at a time when there weren't any other experts in the community to collaborate with. The site is somewhat constrainted in its contents due to my limited perspective at that time (I would have collected more material in different ways had I been technically proficient enough to recognize the possibilities). This reflects a not uncommon factor that I hypothesize impacts many web resources. Given the current rapid development and growth of web authoring tools, it will probably subtly affect web resources for some tiem.
The current pages represent a complete revision and revitalization undertaken in Fall 1996 to compensate for and improve on the original version.
The available body of texts in this very new discourse and analysis losely identified as Queer Theory is still relatively small, uneven, ambiguous in its scope and criteria for inclusion, and sometimes difficult to locate. The rapid growth and multi-disciplinary focus of these works results in their appearance in many different venues. Locating and accessing materials is futher hampered by the lack of a definite biliography. Indeed there is still considerable discussion and disagreement around what type of work and analysis qualifies for the label Qeer Theory.
Because of my creation of this website, I receive numerous queries about the current "state" of Queer Theory, how it is defined, who is working in this area, and what topics are being addressed. This continued interest in the site is what has motivated me to continue with its development and expand its contents. The queries and comments I have received reflect a general lack of agreement and clarity about Queer Theory. This seeming ambiguity has not, however, prevented a significant amount of academic activity and attention on Queer Theory. Indeed, much of the attention is motivated by the interesting issues, questions, and perspectives Queer Theory is generating.
A Recommended Discussion:
I often direct inquires to a May 1995 PMLA - (v110(3) pgs 343-9) guest column by Lauren Berlant and Michael Warner, "What Does Queer Theory Teach Us about X" which in my view provides an accurate and useful discussion framed within the following perspective:
The critical mass of queer work is more a matter of perception than of volume. Queer is hot.....
In our view, it is not useful to consider queer theory a thing, expecially one dignified by capital letters. We wonder whether queer commentary might not more accurately describe the things linked by the rubric, most of which are not theory. The metadiscourse of "queer theory" intends an academic object, but queer commentary has vital precedents and collaborations in aesthetic genres and journalism. It cannot be assimilated to a single discourse, let alone a propositional program. (pg 343)
I highly recommend this article. It provides not only a useful context but provides interesting suggestions for future directions of academic and political analysis and articulates the potential significance of a queer perspective. The authors place their discussion in the context of a humanist's responsibility for culture building. This resonants with my own philosophy and desire to label myself as both an academic and a humanist. Making this contribution to a continued queer commentary deconstructing the heterocentric perspective of current western culture's notions of reality and objectiveness is a worthy culture building activity. Hence, I maintain an ongoing commitment to the growth of Queer Frontiers.
|A beginning Table of Contents for the Queer Frontiers, Beyond 1995 section of this resource is under development and provides access to some of the work begun in this area of Queer Frontiers. I am planning to spend time over the Christmas Break, working on continued development of this area.|
Further reflections and identification of scholarly resources are available throughout this site. Development of a Queer Links section provides an ongoing area for continued development.