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Rethinking ‘Identities’

Cultural Articulations of Alterity and Resistance in the New Millennium


Edited By Lucille Cairns and Santiago Fouz-Hernandez

This volume sets out to re-imagine the theoretical and epistemological presuppositions of existing scholarship on identities. Despite a well-established body of scholarly texts that examine the concept from a wide range of perspectives, there is a surprising dearth of work on multiple, heterogeneous forms of identity. Numerous studies of ethnic, linguistic, regional and religious identities have appeared, but largely in isolation from one another.
Rethinking ‘Identities’ is a multi-authored project that is original in providing – in distributed and granular mode – a hyper-contemporary and wide-ranging applied analysis that questions notions of identity based on nation and region, language, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion or even ‘the human’. The volume achieves this by mobilizing various contexts of identity (gender, ethnicity, sexuality, nation) and medium (art, cinema, literature, music, theatre, video). Emphasizing the extreme contemporary (the twenty-first century) and the challenges posed by an increasingly global society, this collection of essays builds upon existing intellectual investigations of identity with the aim of offering a fresh perspective that transcends cognitive and geographical frontiers.
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Florian Grandena: From the Sublimated Anus to the Desublimating Hand: An Intersectional Discussion of Work and Homosexuality in French Gay Cinema



Oedipus is the Family-Church-State in each of us, a belief injected into our unconscious through the application of the dominant system of signs and subjugation, it is what gives us faith as it robs us of power, it is what teaches us to desire our own repression.

—SEEM 1975: 167

Film studies often focus on specific, isolated aspects of one’s identity. The representation of sexual orientation in French-language cinema, for example, has been attracting more attention as the visibility and number of international queer film productions have increased dramatically since the last two decades (Brassart 2007; Dyer 2003; Grandena and Johnston 2011a and 2011b; Roth-Bettoni 2007), a symptom of contemporary cinematic queer hypervisibility (Pidduck 2011). Although academic research has sometimes attempted to discuss sexual orientation in relation to, say, gender (Cairns 2006) and ethnicity (Rees-Roberts 2008), the general tendency is, however, not to theorize on more than one specific facet of identity at a time. Contrasting with such an ‘isolating’ take on identity, the present chapter uses an intersectional approach to examine critically the under-discussed relation (in film studies at least) between gay subjectivities and capitalism/neo-liberalism, or more precisely, one of the latter’s foundation stones: work.

I choose to focus on work partly because of the attention that has already been paid to gay men’s supposed uncritical and depoliticized ← 89 | 90 → participation in exacerbated consumerism, the latter having become, it seems, the tip of the pink iceberg emerging...

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