The Queer Art of Failure

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 8/29/2011
  • Publisher: Duke Univ Pr

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The Queer Art of Failureis about finding alternatives-to conventional understandings of success in a heteronormative, capitalist society; to academic disciplines that confirm what is already known according to approved methods of knowing; and to cultural criticism that has extensively theorized hegemony but paid little attention to counterhegemony. Judith Halberstam proposes ;low theory ; as a means of recovering ways of being and forms of knowledge not legitimized by existing systems and institutions. Low theory is derived from eccentric archives. It runs the risk of not being taken seriously. It entails a willingness to fail and to lose one's way. Tacking back and forth between high theory and low theory, high culture and low culture, Halberstam looks for the unexpected and subversive in popular culture, avant-garde performance, and queer art. She pays particular attention to animated children's films, contending that new forms of animation, especially CGI, have generated narratives filled with unexpected encounters between the childish, the transformative, and the queer. Dismantling contemporary logics of success, Halberstam demonstrates that failure sometimes offers more creative, cooperative, and surprising ways of being in the world.

Author Biography

Judith Halberstam is Professor of English, American Studies and Ethnicity, and Gender Studies at the University of Southern California. Halberstam is the author of In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives, as well as Female Masculinity and Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters, both also published by Duke University Press.

Table of Contents

Illustrationsp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introduction: Low Theoryp. 1
Animating Revolt and Revolting Animationp. 27
Dude, Where's My Phallus? Forgetting, Losing, Loopingp. 53
The Queer Art of Failurep. 87
Shadow Feminisms: Queer Negativity and Radical Passivityp. 123
"The Killer in Me Is the Killer in You": Homosexuality and Fascismp. 147
Animating Failure: Ending, Fleeing, Survivingp. 173
Notesp. 189
Bibliographyp. 193
Indexp. 201
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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