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Queer(y)ing Bodily Norms in Francophone Culture


Edited By Polly Galis, Antonia Wimbush and Maria Tomlinson

Queer(y)ing Bodily Norms in Francophone Culture questions how a wide selection of restrictive norms come to bear on the body, through a close analysis of a range of texts, media and genres originating from across the francophone world and spanning the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Each essay troubles hegemonic, monolithic perceptions and portrayals of racial, class, gender, sexual and/or national identity, rethinking bodily norms as portrayed in literature, film, theatre and digital media specifically from a queer and querying perspective. The volume thus takes «queer(y)ing» as its guiding methodology, an approach to culture and society which examines, questions and challenges normativity in all of its guises. The term «queer(y)ing» retains the celebratory tone of the term «queer» but avoids appropriating the identity of the LGBTQ+ community, a group which remains marginalized to this day. The publication reveals that evaluating the bodily norms depicted in francophone culture through a queer and querying lens allows us to fragment often oppressive and restrictive norms, and ultimately transform them.

«In this timely and important collection, the editors bring together a series of reflections on the body in contemporary French and Francophone cultures. Chapters consider a range of pertinent topics, from the digital mediation of bodies and sexualities on social networking platforms, through considerations of current meanings of motherhood, to the perennial concerns of bodily dysfunction, disease and death.» (Lisa Downing, Professor of French Discourses of Sexuality, University of Birmingham)

«Emphasising the body as central to queer studies, this valuable collection of essays offers an attentiveness to specific cultural-historical, geographic and linguistic particularities that is often found wanting in works of anglophone queer theory, thereby demonstrating the importance of Modern Languages’ interdisciplinary, culturally specific approach to queer scholarship.» (Elliot Evans, author of The Body in French Queer Thought from Wittig to Preciado: Queer Permeability)