The queer uncanny

Jenzen, Olu (2007) The queer uncanny eSharp (9). ISSN 1742-4542

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Abstract

Using Freud's 1919 essay on various manifestations of the uncanny as a starting point, this article considers the relationship between the queer and the uncanny. It focuses on how the 'queer uncanny' may offer new ways of problematically posing notions of both ontological stability and normality, and furthermore, may work to disrupt definitions of gender and sexuality in relation to what constitutes the human. The article seeks to show how we may conceptualize the queer uncanny through its confrontation of a heteronormative category of the real. The article focuses in particular on anxieties about ontological boundaries and their relation to gender ambivalence in light of the contemporary theoretical writings of Judith Butler and Sue-Ellen Case. Then it moves to investigate the metaphor of 'the closet' as a materialization of heteronormative domination, as theorized by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, to consider its uncanny presence in the domestic space. Finally, through the notion of the uncanny, this article suggests we may also attempt a queer critical reading that, following Sue-Ellen Case's theoretical encouragement, works 'at the site of ontology' rather than in a gender and identity politics hinged on representation.

Item Type:Journal article
Additional Information:© 2007 The Author(s)
Uncontrolled Keywords:The uncanny; queer theory; dissident sexualities; the closet; heteronormativity; Sigmund Freud
Subjects:L000 Social Sciences > L300 Sociology > L320 Gender studies
Q000 Languages and Literature - Linguistics and related subjects
L000 Social Sciences > L900 Cultural Studies
Faculties:Faculty of Arts > School of Arts and Media
ID Code:8788
Deposited By:Olu Jenzen
Deposited On:12 Jul 2011 09:23
Last Modified:30 Jan 2014 12:21

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