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Title: Deviant Sexualities: Placing Sexuality in Post-'68 French Lesbian, Gay, and Queer Literature/Politics
Authors: Rivas, Joshua Martin
Advisors: Wampole, Christy
Contributors: French and Italian Department
Subjects: French literature
LGBTQ studies
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation, Deviant Sexualities: Placing Sexuality in Post-'68 French Lesbian, Gay, and Queer Literature/Politics, argues that modern French sexual minority politics, whose origins can be traced back to the student and worker uprisings of May 1968, has largely been about the making, unmaking, and remaking of space. In it, I analyze the artistic, theoretical, and activist work of four 20th- and 21st-century French figures politically invested in matters of gay, lesbian, and/or queer sexuality. Tracking the spatial configuration and logic of these thinkers' political visions brings to the fore the underappreciated ways in which post-'68 French LGBTQ thought is responsive to and conditioned by the French nation-state's foundational principle of Republican universalism. The first chapter's examination of iconic gay liberationist leader Guy Hocquenghem's activism, theory of desire, and the motif of travel in his understudied novels brings to light the "hyper-pluralistic universalism" that animates his politics. The second chapter dispels radical lesbian and materialist feminist Monique Wittig's reputation as the advocate of a parochial lesbian separatism by turning to Wittig's fiction to clarify her vision for the abolition of hetero-patriarchy called for in her essays. The third chapter elucidates the trenchant critique of Republican universalism at the heart of Guillaume Dustan's highly controversial "gay ghetto" autofiction. The fourth and final chapter addresses the emergence in the late 1990s of queer theory, culture, and politics in France and the nationalistic, anti-American overtones of its notoriously hostile reception. In it, I argue that French queer feminist performance artist, writer, and activist Wendy Delorme's work and the reactions it has inspired reveals sexual minority politics to be a site where the forces of sexism, heterosexism, cissexism, and nationalism converge.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:French and Italian

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