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Lost Intimacies

Rethinking Homosexuality under National Socialism

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William J. Spurlin

Lost Intimacies: Rethinking Homosexuality under National Socialism uses queer theory as a hermeneutic tool with which to read against the grain of heterotextual narratives of the Holocaust and as a way of locating alternative pathways of meaning in dominant Holocaust research. Specifically addressing the racialization of sexuality, the book asks how the politics of sexuality can be more explicitly and systematically theorized, along with state-sanctioned homophobia under Nazism, with a clear recognition that homophobia seldom operated alone, but worked in conjunction with other axes of power, including race, gender, eugenics, and population politics. In theorizing gender and sexuality as entangled axes of analysis, the book allows the specificity of lesbian difference to emerge and challenges the received wisdom that lesbians were not as systematically persecuted under National Socialism. William J. Spurlin questions the wisdom of received scholarship that reduces Nazi fascism to latent homosexuality, and examines the possible implications of Nazi homophobia, and its imbrication with other deployments of power, for the study of contemporary culture where the homophobic impulse continues to reverberate, thereby challenging understandings of history steeped in notions of progressive modernity.

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Acknowledgments vii General Editor’s Foreword xi Introduction 1 CHAPTER 1 Holocaust Studies Meets Queer Studies: A Contested Alliance? 15 CHAPTER 2 The Racialization of Sexuality: Rethinking Same-Sex Desire within Nazi Juridical Discourse 29 CHAPTER 3 The Politics of Gender Difference: Lesbian Existence under the Third Reich 45 CHAPTER 4 Homosexuality and Fascism: A (Re)Analysis 65 CHAPTER 5 Discursive Traces of Nazi Homophobia in Contemporary Culture 85 CHAPTER 6 Queer Sexuality, Holocaust Studies, and the Challenge of Democratic Futurity 109 Notes 121 References 139 Index 147 Jspurlin-Fm.indd ix 10/7/2008 9:18:09 PM Jspurlin-Fm.indd x 10/7/2008 9:18:09 PM

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