The Queer Art of Failure

The Queer Art of Failure

by Jack Halberstam
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Overview

The Queer Art of Failure by Jack Halberstam

The Queer Art of Failure is about finding alternatives—to conventional understandings of success in a heteronormative, capitalist society; to academic disciplines that confirm what is already known according to approved methods of knowing; and to cultural criticism that claims to break new ground but cleaves to conventional archives. Judith Halberstam proposes “low theory” as a mode of thinking and writing that operates at many different levels at once. Low theory is derived from eccentric archives. It runs the risk of not being taken seriously. It entails a willingness to fail and to lose one’s way, to pursue difficult questions about complicity, and to find counterintuitive forms of resistance. Tacking back and forth between high theory and low theory, high culture and low culture, Halberstam looks for the unexpected and subversive in popular culture, avant-garde performance, and queer art. She pays particular attention to animated children’s films, revealing narratives filled with unexpected encounters between the childish, the transformative, and the queer. Failure sometimes offers more creative, cooperative, and surprising ways of being in the world, even as it forces us to face the dark side of life, love, and libido.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780822350286
Publisher: Duke University Press Books
Publication date: 09/19/2011
Series: a John Hope Franklin Center Book
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Judith Halberstam is Professor of English, American Studies and Ethnicity, and Gender Studies at the University of Southern California. Halberstam is the author of In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives, as well as Female Masculinity and Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters, both also published by Duke University Press.

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The Queer Art of Failure 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
CruelEmbroidery More than 1 year ago
As a queer artist, educator, and ex-intelligentsia, this book came as a much needed destroyer. I felt like it gave me the intense satisfaction of running a bunch of old files full of old ideas through a paper shredder and happily left with a clean desk. I found myself journaling, discussing, and implementing many of Halberstam's ideas about the importance of forgetting, discontinuity, and thinking on the margins. It's helped me to frame my creative writing and poetry in a way that allows me to confidently share my work with others. It made me feel not alone. That might sound overly dramatic, but I almost came to regard this text as a self-helpy book. How to become a Fearless Artist of the queer-affect in Ten Easy Steps. I generously highlighted beautiful passages as though they were daily positive aphorisms. I felt buoyed by these explorations of queer affect and non-family representations, the queer as an idea or a tool, rather than as an identity. Thank you so much to this brave, brilliant prof who's getting academia to work for her instead of the other way around.