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Queer Theory

Queer Theory is term coined by Teresa de Lauretis, in the context of a working conference on lesbian and gay sexualities at the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1990. Alongside Judith Butler and Eve Sedgewick, de Laurentis contributed to the conceptual bases of the field as it emerged in the 1990s. It has developed into a substantial body of critique that challenges the notion that sexuality and gender are natural and fixed, and emphasises the cultural, social and historical contexts in which identity is formed. The term is operative in relationship to particular Lesbian, Bi-sexual, Gay, and Transgender (LGBT) identities but is also used as a way of defining a wider position, that of “whatever is at odds with the normal, the legitimate, the dominant” (David Halperin). It is used as a way of accessing a longer history of critical and anarchistic thinking about sexual and gender relations across distinct cultures.

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