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Queer/Alternative Sexualities in Fiction

CHERYL STOBIE


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Over the twentieth century there was an increasing representation of queer/alternative sexualities in world fiction, dealing with such matters as homophobia, the normativity of heterosexuality, and gender issues. This burgeoning was made possible by the globalization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) studies. Latterly, representations of alternative sexualities in world fiction have highlighted the effects of colonialism on the construction of sexuality, expanded and nuanced ideas of contemporary sexuality as developed in the West, and reconstructed culturally specific sexualities. The word “queer” was originally used in the early twentieth century to refer pejoratively to people who were, or were suspected of being, homosexual, and this meaning still persists. From the 1960s on, gay and lesbian communities developed in the West, drawing inspiration from gay liberation and feminist scholarship. Some individuals later reclaimed the word “queer” as positive in two senses: as an umbrella term to refer to non-heterosexual people and as a movement beyond the identity politics of gay and lesbian studies, a shift that focused instead on questioning the notion of fixed sexual identities and the perception of heterosexuality as normative. Michel Foucault, Teresa de Lauretis, Gloria Anzaldua, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Judith Butler, and Michael Warner contributed significantly ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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