Questions for LGBTQ Worldmaking
Edited By Dustin Bradley Goltz and Jason Zingsheim
19. Queering the Ear: Listening Queerly to Anger and Decorum
TIMOTHY OLEKSIAK AND RAECHEL TIFFE
Five years ago, Raechel and Timothy met at a queer mixer at the start of their doctoral careers. Ever since, they have become supportive colleagues, friends, and queer comrades. In support of Raechel and because of his genuine interest in the subject Timothy attended the 2011 Queer Love panel of which Raechel was a part. Months later over dinner Raechel and Timothy reflected on the panel. This is a “transcript” of what resulted.
Timothy: Talking about physiology is beyond the notion of queer listening or queering the ear. When I speak of a listening project, or a political project that begins and resolves with listening I mean something akin to acts of reception that extend to and beyond what the ear has to offer. Listening is reception, but it also must be reception that carries us to a different type of response—a response that resists categorization, resists being pinned down as decorous or angry.
Raechel: How, then, might we listen queerly?
Timothy: I suggest that to listen queerly means attending to the negotiations of others in ways that resist evaluation or judgment. Such a political project sounds uncomfortable in the face of queer critiques of hetero- or homonormativity. However, if we are to create spaces of imaginative possibility where creative expression can thrive, I believe we have reached the limits of queer critique and should move to thinking through what the ear has to...
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