The Queer Art of Failure - A John Hope Franklin Center Book (Paperback)Judith Halberstam (author)
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Publisher: Duke University Press
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 363 g
Dimensions: 235 x 146 x 15 mm
"Queer Theory using Spongebob Squarepants? Totally there... Underdogs and shoddy queers can take wordy, erudite solace in Halberstam's words." - Gay Times
"[H]ere is a book well worth the time and attention it takes to read it and to consider its implications. Most especially in that Judith Halberstam writes not only with authority, but also with genuine wit, which leaves the reader laughing out loud from time to time, something quite unknown until now in books of queer theory. Further, Ms. Halberstam presents her case with deep insight into human nature, and into our deepset cultural need to simplify our definition of the word success-and, up until now, our seeming need to ignore the creative implications of failure." - Vinton Rafe McCabe, New York Journal of Books
"'All losers are the heirs of those who have lost before them.' The Queer Art of Failure narrates hilarious and swerving outlaw comedies of refusal, absurdity, and exuberant being, acting in solidarity with its resident artists-from SpongeBob SquarePants to Yoko Ono. But the book hums a dark tone, too. The arts of normative style, playing out on sexual, racialized, gendered, and colonial bodies and landscapes, are painful to witness, even here. No artist or critic can repair the damage, erasing history, but Judith Halberstam wields all of the weapons that intelligence (and cartoons) can bring against the harsh work of conventionality."-Lauren Berlant, author of Cruel Optimism
"The Queer Art of Failure is a manifesto for cultural studies. It self-consciously risks being dismissed or trashed in order to rescue alternative objects of analysis, methods of knowing, and ways of communicating. Its stakes are clear. It's not attempting to argue for the recovery of its materials from obscurity; it values forgetting and obsolescence. It's not claiming to retool our understanding of major work; it traffics unapologetically in the minor. And it doesn't pretend to comprehensive scholarship; it offers up plot summaries and allegorical readings with glee."-Elizabeth Freeman, author of Time Binds: Queer Temporalities, Queer Histories
"The Queer Art of Failure is inspired, provocative, and hilarious. More significantly, it is a deft evisceration of the regulative rigidities of disciplinarity and the pretensions of 'high theory.' Judith Halberstam's advocacy of 'silly archives' and 'low theory' is much more than a carnivalesque skewering of the earnest self-seriousness of much academic scholarship; it is a populist clarion call for expansive democratic visions of what it is we are writing about and for whom we think we are writing." -Lisa Duggan, author of The Twilight of Equality? Neoliberalism, Cultural Politics, and the Attack on Democracy
"Failure abounds all around us: economies collapse, nation-states falter, and malfeasance rules. In the face of our dismal situation, Judith Halberstam distills and repurposes the negative in order to think outside the tyranny of success. The Queer Art of Failure finds a new vitality in not winning, accumulating, doing, or knowing. Both counterintuitive and anti-anticipatable, this compelling book pushes beyond many of the impasses and blockages that limit our critical horizons today."-Jose Esteban Munoz, author of Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity
"Because Halberstam uses pop-culture examples, The Queer Art of Failure is an ideal text for introducing queer theory to beginners. The politics of heteronormativity and sexual dissidence has never appeared as lucid as it does now that we have SpongeBob SquarePants as our guide." -- Chase Dimock * Lambda Literary Review *
"Before the Stonewall Riots, 'queers' lurked in the cultural shadows, and Halberstam finds that environment to be fruitful and even revolutionary. This book is guaranteed to be controversial. It would make a good basis for discussion after seeing one of the movies, performances, or bodies of visual pieces that analyzed in its pages." -- Jean Roberta * Gay & Lesbian Review *
"Declaring her intent to celebrate failure in its many forms, Halberstam invigorates this potentially droopy topic with a flair that feels almost inspirational." -- Monica Nolan * Bitch *
"Judith Halberstam . . . is insightful and intellectually brave in places, and makes a significant intervention in the development of queer theory. The Queer Art of Failure is also utterly charming." -- Robert Eaglestone * Times Higher Education *
"[H]ere is a book well worth the time and attention it takes to read it and to consider its implications. Most especially in that Judith Halberstam writes not only with authority, but also with genuine wit, which leaves the reader laughing out loud from time to time, something quite unknown until now in books of queer theory. Further, Ms. Halberstam presents her case with deep insight into human nature, and into our deepset cultural need to simplify our definition of the word success-and, up until now, our seeming need to ignore the creative implications of failure." -- Vinton Rafe McCabe * New York Journal of Books *
"Queer Theory using Spongebob Squarepants? Totally there... Underdogs and shoddy queers can take wordy, erudite solace in Halberstam's words." * Gay Times *
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. . . . [A]s a close reader of popular culture, she is exemplary, and as a valiant attempt to find value in positions and attitudes such as negativity that our modern success-oriented society disdains, this study is never less than thrilling." * Publishers Weekly *
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