The culture of polemic

The culture of polemic Misrecognizing recognition Alexander García Düttmann One would like to be recognized as this or that individual, according to this or that description, since recognition promises to overcome the splitting of what is to be recognized, to facilitate the incorporation of what is split into some unified identity or unified life-context. According […]

Virtually undetectable

Commentary Virtually undetectable The Andrew Sullivan phenomenon Alan sinfield Andrew Sullivan sprang into prominence in the early 1990s when he came out as a gay man while editing the right-wing American weekly magazine The New Republic. In Virtually Normal (1995) he reviewed prohibitionist, liberationist, conservative and liberal ideas about homosexuality and society.* He concluded that […]

Identity judgements, queer politics

Political identities have received bad press for quite some time. Sexual identities constitute no exception to this trend. Nearly ten years ago Judith Butler expressed her ambivalent relation to identity categories by calling them ʻnecessary errorsʼ, whilst at the same time holding that ʻthere remains a political imperative to use [them]ʼ.1 In more recent times, […]

Wishful theory and sexual politics

Across the last two or three decades identity and desire have been ʻtheorizedʼ relentlessly. Influences have been diverse: I remember especially the impact, for gay writing, of Barthesʼ dream, or plea, in 1975, for a radical sexual diversity wherein there would no longer be homosexuality (singular) but homosexualities, a plural so radical it ʻwill baffle […]

Homosexual politics in the wake of AIDS

The emergency that was and is the AIDS epidemic produced a radical, almost geological reconstruction of the terrain of (homo)sexual politics, a reconstruction that we are only hesitantly coming to terms with. The social trajectory described by the emergent sexual communities in the West, from dubious toleration to the threat of imminent annihilation, was already […]