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The Gendering of Men, 1600-1750, Volume 2

Queer Articulations

Thomas A. King (author)

ISBN: 9780299226206

Publication Date: Sep 2008

Format: Hardback

£59.95

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The queer man's mode of embodiment–his gestural and vocal style, his posture and gait, his occupation of space–remembers a political history. To gesture with the elbow held close to the body, to affect a courtly lisp, or to set an arm akimbo with the hand turned back on the hip is to cite a history in which the sovereign body became the effeminate and sodomitical and, finally, the homosexual body. In Queer Articulations, Thomas A. King argues that the Anglo-American queer body publicizes a history of resistance to the gendered terms whereby liberal subjectivities were secured in early modern England.

Arguing that queer agency preceded and enabled the formulation of queer subjectivities, Queer Articulations investigates theatricality and sodomy as performance practices foreclosed in the formation of gendered privacy and consequently available for resistant uses by male-bodied persons who have been positioned, or who have located themselves, outside the universalized public sphere of citizen-subjects. By defining queerness as the lack or failure of private pleasures, rather than an alternative pleasure or substance in its own right, eighteenth-century discourses reconfigured publicness as the mark of difference from the naturalized, private bodies of liberal subjects.

Inviting a performance-centered, interdisciplinary approach to queer/male identities, King develops a model of queerness as processual activity, situated in time and place but irreducible to the individual subject's identifications, desires, and motivations.

Reviews

Queer Articulations is sure to become the standard work on perceptions of eighteenth-century sexuality and masculinity. - Hans Turley, University of Connecticut The queer man's mode of embodiment - his gestural and vocal style, his posture and gait, his occupation of space - remembers a political history. To gesture with the elbow held close to the body, to affect a courtly lisp, or to set an arm akimbo with the hand turned back on the hip is to cite a history in which the sovereign body became the effeminate and sodomitical and, finally, the homosexual body. In Queer Articulations, Thomas A. King argues that the Anglo-American queer body publicizes a history of resistance to the gendered terms whereby liberal subjectivities were secured in early modern England. Arguing that queer agency preceded and enabled the formulation of queer subjectivities, Queer Articulations investigates theatricality and sodomy as performance practices foreclosed in the formation of gendered privacy and consequently available for resistant uses by male-bodied persons who have been positioned, or who have located themselves, outside the universalized public sphere of citizen-subjects. By defining queerness as the lack or failure of private pleasures, rather than an alternative pleasure or substance in its own right, eighteenth-century discourses reconfigured publicness as the mark of difference from the naturalized, private bodies of liberal subjects. Inviting a performance-centered, interdisciplinary approach to queer/male identities, King develops a model of queerness as processual activity, situated in time and place but irreducible to the individual subject's identifications, desires, and motivations. "Speech and gesture from the past are very hard to document: this book opens new doors." - Randolph Trumbach, Baruch College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York
Illustrations 47 b/w illustrations
Pages 536
Date Published 30 Sep 2008
Publisher University of Wisconsin Press
Subject/s Cultural studies   Gender studies: men   Literary studies: c 1500 to c 1800   Gay studies (Gay men)  
Thomas A. King is associate professor of English at Brandeis University, where he teaches early modern and eighteenth-century studies, gender and queer studies, and performance studies. Prior to his teaching career, King worked as an A.E.A. stage manager in Chicago. He is the author of volume one of The Gendering of Men, 1600-1750: Volume 1, The English Phallus, also published by the University of Wisconsin Press.

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