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Queer Praxis

Questions for LGBTQ Worldmaking

Edited By Dustin Bradley Goltz and Jason Zingsheim

Amidst rapid advances of mainstream gay and lesbian platforms, questions of essential sexual identities, queered rituals of family, queered notions of intimacy, queer considerations of time, and the possibility and value of queered systems of relation are largely absent. Resisting the public face of a normative and homogenous gay and lesbian community, and embracing a broadened conception of queerness, this book brings together 29 writers – a diverse community of scholars, lovers, and activists – to explore queer theory and embodied experiences within interpersonal relations and society at large. Enacting a critical intervention into the queer theoretical landscape, the book offers an alternative engagement where contributors centralize lived experience. Theoretical engagements are generated in relation and in dialogue with one another exploring collectivity, multiple points of entrance, and the living nature of critical theory. Readers gain familiarity with key concepts in queer thought, but also observe how these ideas can be navigated and negotiated in the social world. Queer Praxis serves as a model for queer relationality, enlisting transnational feminist, critical communication, and performance studies approaches to build dialogue across and through differing subjectivities.
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1. Introducing Queer Praxis: Coming to Queer Love

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DUSTIN BRADLEY GOLTZ, AIMEE CARRILLO ROWE, MEREDITH M. BAGLEY, KIMBERLEE PÉREZ, RAECHEL TIFFE AND JASON ZINGSHEIM

Queer Praxis began as a series of conference presentations at the National Communication Association’s annual convention entitled “In the Name of Queer Love.” Pushing against the individualized and disembodied abstraction often characterizing academic writing, we began writing in community, with relations, and through our own personal experiences to help ground, navigate, trouble, and push at queer theoretical works. What happens if we hold up the abstractions and interventions of queer theory to the scrutiny and experience of our daily lives? How do we live and navigate these tensions, disruptions, and critical inquiries in our bodies, our moment-by-moment navigations, and our relations? We started by talking about a “not wedding” community ritual in 2008, a Gayla, as a place to theorize a range of experiences, perceptions, and positions within a shared context. From there, we moved out, continuing and expanding a discussion about queerness and experience that eventually became this text. Enlisting performative and critical qualitative traditions that emerged from multiple feminist traditions, we privilege lived experience, seeking to theorize through the body and to process academic theory within collective and embodied stories. Queer Praxis centralizes theory through and from a relational perspective. We generate and examine theory in a manner that forefronts dialogic collectivity, multiple points of access, and the living/shifting nature of critical queerness. As an investigation that seeks to generate and extend theory relationally, however, the project...

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