Bookshelf: Recent Books by GSL Authors

Queer Theory: The French Response

2016

In 2012, masses of French citizens took to the streets to demonstrate against a bill on gay marriage. Demonstrators claimed that the origins of gay marriage laid in "gender theory," an ideology imported from the United States. By "gender theory" they meant queer theory in general and, more specifically, the work of Judith Butler. What are the various facets of the French response to queer theory, from the mobilization of activists and the seminars of scholars to the emergence of queer media and the decision to translate this or that kind of book? Ironically, perceiving queer theory as a threat to France means overlooking the fact that queer theory itself has been largely inspired by French thinkers. By examining mutual influences across the Atlantic, Queer Theory: The French Response offers a new theory of minority politics: an ongoing critique of norms is not only what gives rise to a feeling of belonging; it is the very thing that founds citizenship.