Abstract

Michael D. Snediker’s Queer Optimism trenchantly challenges queer theory’s dominant tendency to dismiss optimism as a naïve, uninformed, and uncritical hope for a better future. Repudiating naïve optimism, Snediker instead theorizes a form of rigorous thinking that looks “immanently” and “seriously” at a “critical field” of “positive” affect (3). Taking lyric poetry as an important archive of affective complexity, Snediker develops his theory of queer optimism through close readings of Hart Crane, Emily Dickinson, Jack Spicer, and Elizabeth Bishop. Challenging many queer theorists’ preference for “negative” affects such as shame and melancholia, Snediker reclaims the concept of coherent “personhood” over and against the embrace of shattered subjectivity by such theorists as Leo Bersani, Judith Butler and Lee Edelman.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1464
Print ISSN
0022-281X
Pages
pp. 185-189
Launched on MUSE
2011-01-13
Open Access
No
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