Historicizing (bi)sexuality: a rejoinder for gay/lesbian studies, feminism, and queer theory

Steven Angelides

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

One of the principal aims of queer theory has been to challenge heteronormative constructions of sexuality and to work the hetero/homosexual structure to the point of critical collapse. Despite an epistemic location within this very structure, however, the category of bisexuality has been largely marginalized and even erased from the deconstructive field of queer theory. This article explores some of the factors behind this treatment of bisexuality and suggests that bisexuality's marginalization and erasure brings into relief the strained relationship between the fields of gay/lesbian history, feminism, and queer theory. In exploring some early influential queer deconstructionist texts, it argues that in overlooking the role the category of bisexuality has played in the formation of the hetero/homosexual structure, the project of queer deconstruction has in important ways fallen short of its goals. The author concludes with a call to rethink conventional deconstructive reading practices.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLGBT Studies and Queer Theory
Subtitle of host publicationNew Conflicts, Collaborations, and Contested Terrain
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Pages125-158
Number of pages34
ISBN (Print)9780203057148
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Previously published in Journal of Homosexuality, Vol. 52, No. 1/2, p.125-158, 2006.

Keywords

  • Bisexuality
  • Deconstruction
  • Feminism
  • Gay/lesbian studies
  • History
  • Queer theory
  • Social constructionism

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