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Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity (Sexual Cultures)

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0814757284
ISBN-10: 0814757286
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Gay liberation's activist past and pragmatic present are merely prologue to a queer cultural future, Muñoz (Disidentifications) suggests in this critical condemnation of the political status quo. Casting his vision of a radical gay aesthetic through the prisms of literature, photography and performance, the author dismisses commonplace concerns like same-sex marriage as desires for mere inclusion in a corrupt mainstream. More defiantly, he exalts the persistence of commercial sex spaces in the face of antisex and homphobic policings, and celebrates the overlay of punk and queer in performance spaces. Muñoz draws on a dynamic roster of seminal artists to illustrate his vision of a utopian queer future, from the well-known (LeRoi Jones, James Schuyler and John Giorno) to edgy artists, including homo-core punk queen Vaginal Davis, club photographer Kevin McCarty and drag chanteuse Kiki (Justin Bond). Queer theorists will find the book's provocative thesis stimulating; lay readers unfamiliar with Ernst Bloch and the Frankfurt School of philosophy on which the author builds his argument may find it a slog. (Nov.)
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Review

"In the course of an introduction, a conclusion, and the ten lush chapters in between, Cruising Utopia elaborates an archive of queer aesthetic practices from the present and the recent past."-Kevin Floyd,Meditations: The Journal of the Marxist Literary Group

“Brilliant, extraordinary, and necessary, Muñoz’s critical refusal of queer pragmatism, his commitment to the utopian force of the radical attempt—the radical aesthetic, erotic, and philosophical experiment—is indispensable in an historical moment characterized by political surrender and intellectual timidity passing itself off as boldness.”
-Fred Moten,author of In the Break



“In this interesting study of queerness and identity politics, Munoz (performance studies, New York Univ.) invites readers to look beyond the immediate present and toward a queer future.”-Choice

“Gay liberation’s activist past and pragmatic present are merely prologue to a queer cultural future, Muñoz suggests in this critical condemnation of the political status quo. Casting his vision of a radical gay aesthetic through the prisms of literature, photography and performance, the author dismisses commonplace concerns like same-sex marriage as desires for ‘mere inclusion’ in a ‘corrupt’ mainstream. More defiantly, he exalts the persistence of commercial sex spaces in the face of ‘antisex and homphobic policings,’ and celebrates the overlay of punk and queer in performance spaces.”
-Publishers Weekly



“Muñoz takes Ernst Bloch as his Virgil as he descends into the dark woods of futurity looking for signposts along the way that will guide him to a place of hope, belonging, queerness and quirkiness. Refusing to simply sign on to the ‘anti-relational,’ anti-future brand of queer theory espoused by Edelman, Bersani and others, Muñoz insists that for some queers, particularly for queers of color, hope is something one cannot afford to lose and for them giving up on futurity is not an option.”
-Judith Halberstam,author of In a Queer Time and Place

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Product Details

  • Series: Sexual Cultures
  • Paperback: 234 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press (November 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814757286
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814757284
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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I used this book several times for my MA thesis, so it was definately an important part of my graduate experience. I do favor Dissidentifications, but this book has some fantastic subject matter and contributions to the field. I wanted it to be a bit more critical but nonetheless, it is an important resource from a beloved scholar.
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this book makes a necessary and thoughtful contribution not just to queer studies, its most explicit disciplinary frame of reference, but also to interdisciplinary cultural studies more generally. munoz's two key moves are in ascending order of importance (1) the key privileging of underexamined theoretical texts rather than the canonic, equally applicable, but overcited work of foucault and benjamin, who munoz notes in his introduction have been rendered almost too tailored to queer theory's concerns, and (2) to instill a sense of "hope" and "utopian futurity" or more simply "potential" in a discourse that's still being dominated by lee edelman's anti-relational pessimism. sure, kids and heteronormative reproduction are a kind of violence, munoz admits, but not one that elides or obfuscates the ability of queer theory and queer lives to create something fleshy, significant, and other than the pessimistic or scolding. a tour de force.
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This is a wonderful textbook for learning about the ideas in regard to queer theory. It was a wonderful tool in the classroom.
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The material is very dense but extremely interesting reading.
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Phenomenal.
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