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American Wild Zones

Space, Experience, Consciousness


Edited By Jerzy Kamionowski and Jacek Partyka

The contributors understand the wild zone as denoting the existence and experience of a group (ethnic, social, sub-cultural, sexual, religious, etc.) which is/was marginalized in American society. Reaching far beyond the boundaries of original agenda (Edwin Ardener’s and Elaine Showalter’s), the term’s applicability has been significantly enlarged. Its fluidity or fuzziness, however, ought to be taken as a blessing: in the rapidly changing contemporary («liquid») world it is the language that needs to keep up with new circumstances and developments, not the other way round.
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Queering the Wild Zone with Experimental Filmmakers: Barbara Hammer, Liz Rosenfeld, and Wu Tsang


← 228 | 229 →Krystyna Mazur

I wish to speak a word for Nature, for absolute freedom and wildness, as contrasted with the freedom and culture merely civil…

Thoreau, “Walking”

Recently Jack Judith Halberstam announced a new era in critical theory. “[W]e might call it ‘wild theory’” s/he says, “within which thinkers, scholars, and artists take a break from orthodoxy and experiment with knowledge, art, and the imagination, even as they remain all too aware of the constraints under which all three operate” (Halberstam, “Charming for the Revolution” 7). Indeed, the concept of the wild or wildness appeared recently in the work of a number of queer theorists, noticeably enough to merit it the tag of a new theoretical strain. In the introduction to Fred Moten and Stefano Harney’s The Undercommons, Halberstam notes that the undercommons is a place of “wildness”; it is a type of “dis-order” as may “show up in jazz, in improvisation, in noise”:“[l]istening to cacophony and noise tells us that there is a wild beyond to the structures we inhabit and that inhabit us. And when we are called to this other place, the wild beyond,.. we have to give ourselves over to a certain kind of craziness”(“The Wild Beyond” 7). Halberstam argues with Moten and Harney that for such dwellers of the undercommons as black people, the indigenous peoples, queer people, or poor people, this place outside is preferable to the inclusion “inside” when not on our...

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