Queer, antinormativity, counter-normativity and abjection

Aleardo Zanghellini*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This paper argues that Queer has distinctive and worthwhile contributions to make to both conceptual and normative inquiries in jurisprudence, but that the potential Queer has for enriching jurisprudential inquiries has not always been tapped adequately. In particular, I argue that the way in which Queer often speaks and conceives of itself, and the way in which queer theory is done has unnecessarily limited the extent and quality of its contributions to normative jurisprudential inquiries. Queer analyses, including those of queer legal theory, have sometimes tended to slip from an enthusiasm for counter-normativity — intended as a repudiation of dominant norms — to the embracing of antinormativity — intended as a renunciation of prescriptive projects. Yet, since normative commitments clearly animate the Queer project (and neither could, nor should, it be otherwise), it is a failure on Queer’s part not to acknowledge, articulate, reflect upon and interrogate its own normative commitments. The hitherto limited extent of queer contributions to normative jurisprudence is a direct result of this failure. Queer analyses of ‘abjection’ are discussed to illustrate how queer theory can be mobilised to enrich normative inquiries in jurisprudence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalGriffith Law Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


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