Detailed Table of Contents

In 2019, Stonewall celebrates its 50thanniversary. While rainbow flags and merchandise fill the streets of cities celebrating Pride all over the world, queer experience remains highly ambiguous, its status complicated. Although the commercialization of the LGBTQ* movement points both to a growing awareness of pluralism in public discourses as well as to economy’s comprehension of diversity’s buying power, it may also represent the mainstream’s grasp on what used to be exclusively queer spaces out of necessity: Pride month has just ended and already Boston’s approved ‘Straight Pride’ is lurking. Scheduled for August 31 (Stock), the event exemplifies only a fraction of heteronormativity’s ongoing reign over global social structures, but almost symbolically stands for the rigor with which a privileged majority (here, in terms of gender and sexual identity) continues to take the lion’s share. Normalized identity and behavior is maintained and only challenged temporally when the ‘unusual’ seems more profitable.

Click here to download the editorial

Author’s Bio: Frederic Rukes earned his bachelor’s degree in English Studies and German and General Literary Studies at RWTH Aachen University and has completed his master’s degree in English Studies at Cologne University. He has worked in the English Department for the chair of Prof. Beate Neumeier as general assistant for her quarterly publication, the peer-reviewed academic journal gender forum. Besides queer cinema, his research interest includes queer theory and popular culture in general as well as American and British Modernist literature. He is currently pursuing his PhD at Cologne University.

Abstract: The remnants of bourgeois consciousness maintain a split between the private sphere and public sphere, despite the ongoing mass privatization of all things in what Mark Fisher calls “business ontology” in Capitalist Realism.  This proliferation of supposed borders between an interior world and an exterior world maintain the “in” and “out” of a conceptual closet from which one can come out. But coming out is not a universal or universalizing part of the queer experience: not throughout the globe, and not even in America. But how is it that somebody is generally not held up as “really queer” unless they’ve come out? Who gets to come out? Who doesn’t have to? Who doesn’t have the privilege to do so? And how does the fact that coming out never really ends insofar as coming out to new colleagues and friends and romantic partners is a perpetual process? Scholars like Jasbir Puar in Terrorist Assemblagesand Chandan Reddy in Freedom with Violencereject the alleged hyper-immediate “outlaw” status of the homosexual subject by lamenting its militaristic deployment and its rearticulation into heterosexual terms, rendering it something palatable to the masses and exceptional only in its banal marketability. Other scholars, like Lauren Berlant and Michael Warner in “Sex in Public”, still uphold the reign of heteronormativity. This article will examine the “magical” and revelatory properties of the speech act of coming out, as well as the structures demanding that those with big profiles come out, by looking at celebrity queer culture, fandom, and queer icons to interrogate why some are expected to come out, ultimately reifying the coming out process. The article will also examine the ways that the coming out process actually supports the reign of heteronormativity by placing regulations on the interpellation of queer identity.

Click here to download this article

Author’s Bio: Tyler Allen Tennant is a current doctoral student in the English Department at Emory University. They received their master’s from the University of Chicago, and their bachelor’s from the University of Oklahoma. Their interests include queer world literature, capitalism(s) studies, postcolonial and affect theory, and anxiety. Their current project involves applying border erotics to understand intimate and sometimes violent ecologies of exchange, consumption, and transformation.

Abstract: The article discusses how David Lynch’s film Mulholland Drive(2001) offers many filmic clichés to deconstruct assumptions about queer identity. Although some critics of the film have suggested that the film upholds heteronormativity, Lynch unravels the limits of linear space and time to contest a singular reality. Analyzing Mulholland Drive via theories of queer temporality will suggest that a singular, supposedly correct reading of this film’s chronology may not be easily determined. In fact, approaching this film from a queer theoretical perspective offers the opportunity to show that, despite the alleged privileging of the heteronormative order, the tropes of neo noir allow the characters to celebrate the possibility of queer desire through the negation of a unitary self.

Click here to download this article

Author’s Bio: Justin Holliday is a lecturer at Tri-County Technical College. His scholarship focuses on postmodern American literature and film. His critical work has appeared in Parlour: A Journal of Literary Criticism and Analysis, The Phoenix Papers, and elsewhere.

Abstract: By examining the ways that Nadia and Alan—the two protagonists of Netflix show Russian Doll—experience gender, madness, and interdependence, this article argues that Russian Doll encourages open normativities and highlights the importance of relations beyond hetero-or homonormative coupling. While both Nadia and Alan fail at gender and fail to properly accept help for their mental distress, their growing ability to connect to their surroundings and to the other characters allows them to heal from the trauma of living and of dying. Using queer theory, including understandings of vulnerability, interdependence, and gesture, I argue that even though both main characters are seemingly heterosexual, Russian Doll is “realistically queer” in its insistence on queer temporality. Key words: Russian Doll; queer theory; open normativities; temporality; interdependence.

Click here to download this article

Author’s Bio: Meg Peters is a doctoral candidate in the Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies at the University of Ottawa. She is especially interested in interdisciplinary—and intersectional—work centering on madness, disability, queerness, feminism, and narrative. She has published in Open Cultural Studies, and The Comparatist. Pedagogy is particularly important for her; she has two TA excellence awards from the University of Ottawa and is teaching a university course about gender, disability, and health in Winter 2019.

Abstract: “The Sea Change” is a somewhat anomalous entry in the Hemingway oeuvre. The story tells of the separation between a man and a woman at a bar. ‘The girl,’ we learn, is leaving ‘the man’ for another woman, at which the man condemns her other relationship as ‘vice’ and ‘perversion.’ Ironically, the man likely himself harbors homosexual desires, and at the promptings of the girl, comes to accept his non-normative sexuality. While many critics have attempted determinate readings of ‘The Sea Change,’ in this paper I show that its very evasion of determinacy is central to its thematic and narrative construction. In the first section, I treat a statement that the man makes – ‘I’ll kill her’ – in which I find a typology illuminative of the man’s ideological stance. In the following two sections, I give a detailed linguistic treatment to two conversations which, crucially, are constituted by indexicals. I find that naming is of central import in the two conversations and that sense is paired with a normative heterosexual ideology and senselessness is paired with a sexually non-normative ideology. In the final section, I treat the last act of the story in which the man undergoes his sea change. Indeterminacy and paradox, analogous to the senselessness of the two analyzed conversations, accompany the man’s metamorphosis, suggesting that his sea change was one in which he detaches from a heterosexual ideology and acquires a sexually non-normative ideology, as the girl presently has. 

Click here to download this article

Author’s Bio: n/a