The Queer Art of Failure by Judith Halberstam
(a John Hope Franklin Center Book)

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Synopsis

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.
 

About Judith Halberstam

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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.
 
Published August 29, 2011 by Duke University Press Books. 224 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Humor & Entertainment, Gay & Lesbian, Literature & Fiction, Law & Philosophy, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Queer Art of Failure

Publishers Weekly

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A lively and thought-provoking examination of how the homogenizing tendencies of modern society might be resisted through the creative application of failure, forgetting, and passivity, actions genera

Jul 11 2011 | Read Full Review of The Queer Art of Failure (a J...

Publishers Weekly

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A lively and thought-provoking examination of how the homogenizing tendencies of modern society might be resisted through the creative application of failure, forgetting, and passivity, actions generally deemed of little value within today's capitalist models of success.

Jul 11 2011 | Read Full Review of The Queer Art of Failure (a J...

New York Journal of Books

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.”In her thought provoking new work, The Queer Art of Failure, author Judith Halberstam suggests that perhaps it is high time that we reconsider the concepts of success and failure in our culture, this time through the filter of queer theory.

Aug 12 2011 | Read Full Review of The Queer Art of Failure (a J...

PopMatters

In In a Queer Time & Place, Judith Halberstam proposes an alternative to a heternormative time, that is to say a time not based around the generation of families.

Jun 15 2005 | Read Full Review of The Queer Art of Failure (a J...

Lambda Literary

“To examine the transness of animal figures in cultural production or philosophical discourse (beyond their biology, queerness, or pure animality, for instance),” Chen writes, “is also to interrogate how humans’ analogic mapping to and from animals (within imagined, lived, or taxonomic intimacies...

Sep 25 2012 | Read Full Review of The Queer Art of Failure (a J...

Lambda Literary

It is this binary of being in or out of the closet that Nicholas De Villiers deconstructs in Opacity and the Closet with the advancement of a practice he terms “queer opacity.” Laying out the thesis of the text, De Villiers writes, “This book interrogates the viability of the metaphor of the clos...

Aug 19 2012 | Read Full Review of The Queer Art of Failure (a J...

Carlin Romano

Potter, Professor of History at The New School for Public Engagement, New York, NY.

Jan 23 2012 | Read Full Review of The Queer Art of Failure (a J...

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