One Step Global, Two Steps Back? Race, Gender, and Queer Studies

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Duke University Press


Since its rise around 1991, queer theory has offered both promise and problems. As an intellectual tool, it has provided new models for reconceptualizing identity, community, and activist politics. But theories often masquerade as universal explanatory systems or are mistaken for a politics. To assert that the tool of queer theory is adequate unto itself as a scholarly or political outlook seems to me absurd, tantamount to claiming that I can fix every leak and creak in my hundredyear-old house with a screwdriver or a power drill—both versatile tools, but inadequate on their own for complex tasks.