The Queer Art of Failure
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.
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50 First Dates aesthetic alternative animated films antisocial Arbus archive argue Bamber becomes Bee Movie bees Brassai Cabello/Carceller chapter Chicken Run colonial Coraline critique culture dark desire dominant Dory Dude Edelman example failure fantasy fascism female femininity feminism feminist Finding Nemo forgetting Foucault gender Gramsci Gromit heteronormative heterosexual homosexuality human imagine intellectual Jamaica Kincaid Jesse and Chester Judie Bamber kind knowing knowledge Kung Fu Panda lesbian logic low theory male stupidity masculinity masochism memory modes mother narrative Nazi negative normative notion Oedipal offers ofthe paintings penguins performance photographs Pixar Pixarvolt political production Queer Art racial radical refusal relation represent resistance says sexual social space SpongeBob SpongeBob SquarePants stop-motion story temporal tion tive Toy Story transformation unbecoming Utopia viewer Wallace and Gromit Where’s My Car white male women