Notes from Global Utopias Reading Group -- Discussion #2 (October 22, 2014)
Readings (for copies see the Compass Research Space link under "Readings"): -Ernst Bloch, The Principle of Hope, "Introduction" -José Esteban Muñoz, Cruising Utopia, pp. 1-96
Discussion themes: • Associative modes of analysis versus Empirical modes of analysis • Abstract utopias versus concrete utopias • Performances of utopia in the present or the near past • Returns to the archive • Masculine narratives • Queer theory as claims to community or claims to antirelationality • Genealogies of Queer theory • Critiques of white gay respectability • Drawing on Bloch as opposed to Foucault • Urban versus Rural queer utopias • Focus on the city, particularly New York City • Relation to AIDS crisis • Cruising as method • The place of race in queer theory
Questions Raised: • How can historians study utopia? How can historians use Munoz’s and Bloch’s modes of utopian thought? • How can historians be attentive to disruptions of normality and temporality? • Would queer utopias be different in analysis of the distant past as opposed to the present or near past? • When does queer theory perform in a normalizing fashion? Can queerness operate as a form of identity politics? • What is queer? • How does queer utopia relate or operate in tension with socialist utopias? • Is desire consumed on an individual level? • What is the place of queer women Munoz's queer utopias?
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