Queer Temporalities: Between Utopia and Negativity
Capitalism, as Walter Benjamin has once put it, relies on the idea of a “progression through a homogenous, empty time”. He suggests that it is our very understanding and affective relation to a progressive, continuous, and linear notion of time that solidifies and reproduces it. Since its advent, queer theory has asked how heteronormativity relies on linear notions of time and how they enforce normative configurations of the family, which are crucial for capitalist relations of (re)production. How can alternative relations to past, present, and future unsettle such progressive temporalities and what Lee Edelman has called “reproductive futurism”? Inspired by and in conversation with this heterogeneous body of critical literature, temporality has become a key object of inquiry in queer theory. While the impetus of queering linear and progressive notions of time is shared, different approaches have emerged that disagree on the question of the (im)possibility of claiming futurity and utopia for queer purposes. In this seminar, we will navigate through these different approaches to queer time by reading canonical texts in queer theory by José Esteban Muñoz, Lee Edelman, Lauren Berlant, and Ann Cvetkovich, among others. Key to our seminar will also be the question of the archive. While authorized archives and hegemonic historiography erases sexual deviancy or casts it in pathological and violent terms, “queer archives” are imagined as sites to build affective relations to what has been lost and oppressed, but also attending to potentials and openings that emerge in the interstices of hegemonic histories. We will be thinking through what it means to assemble records of the past as “archives”, what desires and politics structure and unsettle them, and how they can inspire queer futures.
Seminar in English
Dennis Ohm is a PhD student in Anthropology at McGill University in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal and works on the politics of intimacy, love, and relationality through the lens of architecture, embodiment, social movements, and temporality. His research interests include queer theory and archives, affect theory, anarchism, critical theory, and experimental writing.
- Two Sessions: 01.07 + 15.07 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
- Registrations via mail to email@example.com. Free admission!
- A reader will be sent to participants.
- The seminar is part of the →lfb school program.