“In effect, we live in a legal, social, and institutional world where the only relations possible are extremely few, extremely simplified, and extremely poor. There is, of course, the relation of marriage, and the relations of family, but how many other relations should exist…!” -Michel Foucault

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CSGS Visiting Scholar: Kaye Mitchell

CSGS Visiting Scholar: spring 2011

Kaye Mitchell

Dr. Kaye Mitchell is Lecturer in Contemporary Literature in the Department of English and American Studies at the University of Manchester, UK, and the author of A.L. Kennedy (Palgrave, 2007) and Intention and Text (Continuum, 2008). Her recent research focuses in particular on issues of gender and sexuality within contemporary literature and culture.

Current research:

I am currently in the early stages of working on my third book, provisionally entitled Queer, Pulp, and the Politics of Unintelligibility. The new book presents a dual investigation – of lesbian pulp fiction/pulp sexology and contemporary queer theory – considering the relationship between the two. It analyses lesbian pulp by placing it in the context of its production (roughly 1950-1965), considering it as an oft-neglected and politically fraught flowering within the longer history of lesbian literature, but also seeking to situate it in the context of its recent rediscovery and recuperation (1990s-present).

The book thus comprises a re-reading of the 1950s which is alert to its incipient ‘queerness’, a literary analysis of popular depictions of lesbianism in 1950s pulp fiction and pulp sexology, a detailed engagement with contemporary critical readings of pulp as ‘queer’, and an interrogation of contemporary theoretical writing on queerness. The aim is to demonstrate the investment of a certain strand of queer theory in incoherence and unintelligibility, and to use the recuperation of pulp – increasingly viewed as possessed of an anticipatory queerness – as exemplary of this, whilst considering what uses and meanings lesbian pulp might possess for us now. The central question of the book concerns how useful and/or limiting the embrace of unintelligibility is for queer politics, and the etiology of that reduction of sexuality to questions of meaning will be traced. There will also be an exploration of broader questions concerning pulp’s foregrounding of shame and trauma (again, connecting this to contemporary queer debates on lesbian history and literature), the constitution of the ‘queer archive’ (its investment in affect and ephemera), the commodification of queerness, and the nature and methods of queer ‘recuperation’ – taking into account recuperation’s concomitant meanings of ‘regaining’ or ‘taking back’ and ‘recovery from illness’. The recuperation of pulp, I suggest, amounts to more than simply its re-publication, for it welcomes back into the corpus of queer texts and histories what was once abjected, but I remain interested in what may be at stake in this process.

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*** SPRING 2018 EVENTS ***

CSGS spring 2018 calendar

Third Annual José E. Muñoz Memorial Lecture by JUDITH BUTLER

judith butler

a lecture on Susceptibility\Solidarity

February 12, Monday
6:30 to 8 pm

tickets required

Skirball Center
566 LaGuardia Place

The Next American Revolution: Publishing Protest with American Studies Now

next american revolution

a series launch with Lisa Duggan, Roderick Ferguson, Jack Halberstam, & LaMonda Horton-Stallings

February 15, Thursday
6 to 8 pm

285 Mercer Street, 4th Floor

The Extractive Zone: The Social Ecologies of Cecilia Vicuña

extracive zone

a Decolonizing Vision Speaker Series lecture by Macarena Gómez-Barris

February 22, Thursday
6 to 8 pm

285 Mercer Street, 4th Floor