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Queering the Second Wave: Anglophone and Francophone Contexts

Paragraph Volume 41, Issue 3

Edited by Lisa Downing, Lara Cox

Paperback (Pre-order)

Explores a series of unsung – and sometimes counterintuitive – resonances between second-wave feminism and queer theory in both Anglophone and Francophone contexts

Queering the Second Wave will consider the works and ideas of feminists including Monique Wittig, Shulamith Firestone, Andrea Dworkin, Marilyn Frye, Donna Haraway, Gloria Anzaldúa, and Cherríe Moraga as precursors of queer theoretical writings by names such as Judith Butler, José Esteban Muñoz, Lee Edelman, Paola Bacchetta, and Judith Jack Halberstam. While acknowledging some of the problems and blindspots of second-wave politics and writing, we nevertheless seek to challenge the assumption that second-wave feminism is politically outdated or invalid. Instead, we imagine cross-generational and cross-discursive dialogues, and trace a genealogy of influence between the second-wave past and the queer present, while also speculating, in some cases, on previously unimagined queer-feminist futures.

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Lara Cox and Lisa Downing


The Queer Body of MLF Literature
Anne Emmanuelle Berger

'Wittig and Davis, Woolf and Solanas (...) simmer within me': Reading Feminist Archives in the Queer Writing of Paul B. Preciado
Elliot Evans

Fucking the body, rewriting the text: Proto-queer embodiment through textual drag in Virginia Woolf's Orlando (1928) and Monique Wittig's Le Corps lesbien (1973)
Kayte Stokoe

Decolonial Queer Feminism in Donna Haraway's 'A Cyborg Manifesto' (1985)
Lara Cox

Queering Sexism and Whiteness with Marilyn Frye
Ulrika Dahl

Anticommunal, Antiegalitarian, Antinurturing, Antiloving: Sex and the 'Irredeemable' in Andrea Dworkin and Catharine MacKinnon
Alex Dymock

Antisocial Feminism? Shulamith Firestone, Monique Wittig, and Proto-Queer Theory
Lisa Downing


Interview with Paola Bacchetta

Interview with J. J. Halberstam

Interview with Clare Hemmings

About the Author

Lisa Downing is Professor of French Discourses of Sexuality at the University of Birmingham, UK. Her books include, most recently, The Subject of Murder: Gender, Exceptionality, and the Modern Killer (University of Chicago Press, 2013) and the co-authored Fuckology: Critical Essays on John Money’s Diagnostic Concepts (with Iain Morland and Nikki Sullivan, University of Chicago Press, 2015). She is currently writing a monograph on “selfish women”.

Lara Cox is an independent scholar based in Paris, France, She is the author of numerous articles on gender studies, theatre, humour, and performance. Her forthcoming book (with Peter Lang) treats the contemporary intersectional political relevance of avant-garde theatre.

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