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Year XII (2018), issue 21

Queer theories

Current issue in pdf




Hans Bertens, Queer Theory (transl. from English by Ruzha Muskurova) / 9

Lee Edelman, The Future is Kid Stuff (transl. from English by Maria Delcheva) / 21

Sara Ahmed, Queer Feelings (transl. from English by Filip Stoilov) / 58

Beatriz Presiado, The Pharmacopornographic Era (transl. from Spanish by Teodora Tsankova) / 101

Karl Schoonover, Rosalind Galt, Queer, World, Cinema (transl. from English by Ruzha Muskurova) / 127

Maria Delcheva, The Gender Liminal Body. Between Essentialism and Poststructuralism / 156

Wojciech Smieja, The Captive (Homosexual) Minds. On Being a Writer and a Homosexual in Communist Poland (Wilhelm Mach,

Jerzy Andrzejewski) / 183

Блажей Варкоцки, Murderous Shame. Queer Performativity in „Lawyer Kraykowski’s Dancer“ by Witold Gombrowicz

(transl. from Polish by Radostina Petrova) / 195



Veselina Gekova, The Garden of EDEN and the Founders

of the Human Race. Light Installation Made of Blown Glass Molds / 215

Petya Dimitrova, Body under the Dress – Sociocultural

and Psychological Codes of Оtherness / 222



Panayot Karagyozov, Between “The Wife” and the Refusal to Bestow the Nobel Prize / 234

Galina Georgieva, Read Through and Fly Off / 237

Nikolay Genov, Will the Mouse eat the Book? / 242

Maria Delcheva, The Other Voice is Important / 245

For the authors / 255

Requirements for publications / 259


Queer Theory

Hans Bertens

Utrecht University in the Netherlands

For the queer theory that under the infl uence of Foucault develops out of lesbian

and gay criticism – and in United Kingdom, out of cultural materialism –

the homo/heterosexual opposition is central to Western culture. „Queer”

therefore provides a vantage point for a radical critique of liberal humanist

ideology. Any deconstruction of the homo/heterosexual opposition will

directly affect the self-defi nition and ideological organization of Western culture.

Some queer theorists use cross-dressing and other non-standard forms

of sexuality to question traditional classifi cation of sexual identity. Others,

arguing that sexuality is a matter of performance rather than of identity, challenge

heterosexuality’s claim to „naturalness” on theoretical grounds.

Keywords: queer, homo/heterosexual opposition, deconstruction, performance,



The Future is Kid Stuff

Lee Edelman

Tufts University, US

The following excerpt from Lee Edelman’s groundbreaking book No Future:

Queer Theory and the Death Drive (2004) presents the theoretician’s

radical project of queer ethics and politics outside kinship and reproductive

circuits by introducing his re-conceptualization of queer negativity.

According to Edelman modern politics, whether of the left or of the right,

is defi ned by what he terms “reproductive futurism” which fi nds its manifestation

in the recurring image of the Child. In a subtle, counterintuitive

argument Edelman approaches the issue of negativity in Lacanian terms

and suggest that queerness occupies the place of the social order’s death

drive, fi guring the bar to every realization of futurity thus exposing the

reality of a collective future whose fi gurative status we are never permitted

to acknowledge or address.

Keywords: death drive, psychoanalysis, queer negativity, queer theory, reproductive



Queer Feelings

Sara Ahmed

Goldsmiths College, University of London 

In this excerpt from The Cultural Politics of Emotion (2008) Sara Ahmed

initiates a discussion on ‘queer feelings’ by examining the affective potential

of queerness. The fi rst section offers a critical analysis of the connection

between norms and affects in debates on queer families, suggesting

that rather than thinking of queer families as an extension of an ideal, we

can begin to refl ect on the exposure of the failure of the ideal as part of

the work that queer families are doing. The second section explores the

role of grief in queer politics with specifi c reference to queer responses to

9/11. In the fi nal section Ahmed elaborates on the role of pleasure in queer

lifestyles or countercultures. The theoretician makes the crucial point that

it is important not to identify queer as outside the global economy, which

transforms ‘pleasures’ into ‘profi t’ by exploiting the labour of others, yet

Ahmed demonstrates that the way in which queer pleasures can circulate

as commodities within global capitalism, can also challenge social norms,

as forms of investment.

Keywords: affect, grief, mourning, pleasure, queerness, social norms


The Pharmacopornographic Era

Beatriz Presiado

The following excerpt from Paul B. Preciado’s book “Testo Junkie: Sex,

Drugs, and Biopolitics in the Pharmacopornographic Era” (2013) introduces

the concept of pharmacopornography. The term is used to address

the processes of a biomolecular (pharmaco) and semiotic-technical (pornographic)

government of sexual subjectivity of which, according to the

theoretician, “the pill” and Playboy are two paradigmatic offshoots. Drawing

on the works of M. Foucault, A. Negri, D. Harraway, G. Agamben,

M. McLuhan, etc., Preciado attempts to map out the cartography of transformations

in industrial production during the 20th century, using as an

axis the political and technical management of the body, sex, and identity.

Preciado states that the real stake of capitalism today is the pharmacopornographic

control of subjectivity and argues that changes in capitalism

that we are witnessing are characterized not only by the transformation of

“gender,” “sex,” “sexuality,” “sexual identity,” and “pleasure” into objects

of the political management of living but also by the fact that this management itself is carried out through the new dynamics of advanced technocapitalism,

global media, and biotechnologies.

Keywords: biopower, gender, Paul Preciado, pharmacopornography, pornography, sexuality


Queer, World, Cinema

Karl Schoonover, Rosalind Gal

University of Warwick (England)

The text draws critical attention to the place of queer cinema in the world:

what might or could the world mean to queers, and what does queer cinema

mean for the world? By bringing the reader to the intersection of queer

politics and world cinema, it asks both how queer fi lms construct ways of

being in the world and what the political value is of the worlds that queer

cinema creates. Cinema is always involved in world making, and queerness

promises to knock off kilter conventional epistemologies. Thinking queerness

together with cinema thus has a potential to reconfi gure dominant

modes of worlding. The authors use the term “worlding” to describe queer

cinema’s ongoing process of constructing worlds, a process that is active

and incomplete, and does not presuppose a settled cartography. A critical

awareness of the global frame has challenged and revised the traditional

rubrics of fi lm studies and Western models of gender and sexuality.

Keywords: queer, cinema, world, globalization, sexuality, diaspora, dissident,



Situating the Transgender Body between Essentialism and Poststructuralism

Mariya Delcheva

Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” (Bulgaria)

The article takes as a point of departure the “born in the wrong body” trope

frequently used to describe transgender embodiment in early transgender

narratives. Drawing on different, sometimes clashing, theoretical perspectives

on transgender embodiment this work argues that it is compulsory

for transgender people to speak about their bodies, yet transgender people

cannot make statements about their bodies.

Keywords: “born in the wrong body” metaphor, transgender, embodiment, queer theory


The Captive (Homosexual) Minds. On Being a Writer and a Homosexual in Communist Poland (Wilhelm Mach, Jerzy Andrzejewski)

Wojciech Smieja

Uniwersytecie Warszawskim (Poland)

The article traces two queer (homosexual) writers’ biographies under communist

regime in Poland. Wilhelm Mach (1916 – 1965) believed that the

new communist morality (in contrast to his traditional peasant Catholic

environment) will allow him to live more openly as a homosexual, so he

became regime’s supporter. When he realized that his expectations won’t be

fulfi lled, he experienced very deep crisis. This crisis together with his fatal

love affair with his Bulgarian friend resulted in author’s suicide in 1965.

Jerzy Andrzejewski (1909 – 1983) soon after the thaw in 1956 became very

critical towards the communist system and joined political underground opposition.

Andrzejewski decided not to hide his homosexuality in order to

avoid potential secret police’s blackmails. As “open” homosexual Andrzejewski

may be considered as a hero of non-existent Polish sexual revolution.

Keywords: communism, biography, homosexuality


Murderous shame. Queer performativity in a short story ‘Lawyer Kraykowski’s Dancer’ by Witold Gombrowicz

Błażej Warkocki

A. Mickiewicz University (Poznan, Poland)

This article focuses on the short story ‘Lawyer Kraykowski’s Dancer’ from

Witold Gombrowicz’s debut collection ‘Memoirs from a Time of Immaturity’

(later published under the title Bakakaj or Bacacay in the English

translation). Warkocki reads this collection as a ‘memoir of negative affects,’

with the opening story being a story about shame. Drawing on Silvan

Tomkins and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Warkocki suggests that shame

is an affect that interpellates the identity of the outcast and the misfi t. Thus

the short story represents a particular instance of queer performativity.

Keywords: queer, shame, masculinity, Witold Gombrowicz


The Garden of EDEN and Founders of the Human Race

Veselina Gekova

New Bulgarian University (Bulgaria)

The Bible parable at the beginning of the Pentateuch about the expulsion of

Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden (also known as „First-born Sin“)

is deeply embedded in the collective notions of Judeo-Christian culture and

beyond. This parable is highly archaic and has endured signifi cant edits over

the centuries. So, what has come to us is a heavily redesigned likeness of the

„original“ version (rooted in Sumerian mythology). Here we will not touch

on the textual or chronological contradictions that glisten from the fi rst pages.

Leaving aside the literal purpose of the parable in question (namely to

serve as the main argument for removing women from power), what does

it mean psychologically? Why is „eye opening“ considered something so

„sinful“? Let‘s look at the collage of symbols, separately and together, andanalyzethem.

The Tree ofKnowledge of Good and Evil symbolizes the potential

of the human mind for the birth of self-consciousness. Tree symbolizes

the inner path of knowledge through which self-consciousness awakens.

The serpent is the unconscious, primary integrity of the human mind, before self-consciousness is formed. The fruit expresses the symbolic unfolding of

this psychological process of awareness, and Eve is the very consciousness

of a potential that is already ripe to awaken for itself.

Keywords: Glass Sculpture, Light installation, Bible parable, Adam and

Eve, Garden of Eden, First-born Sin, The Tree of Knowledge

Body under the Dress – Sociocultural and Psychological Codes of Оtherness

Petya Dimitrova

Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Bulgaria

The text analyzes the novel “Body under the dress” by GalinNikoforov,

looking at the issue of identity and gender identity in particular. Discusses

the different codes of otherness through the life of the main character of the

novel. Analyzes the connection between the childhood and the establishment

of sexual self-consciousness and gender identity. Searches for the

reasons for the gender changing and the desire for identity obliteration.

Keywords: identity, gender identity, transgender, transsexual