Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity

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NYU Press, Nov 1, 2009 - Social Science - 224 pages
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The LGBT agenda for too long has been dominated by pragmatic issues like same-sex marriage and gays in the military. It has been stifled by this myopic focus on the present, which is short-sighted and assimilationist.

Cruising Utopia seeks to break the present stagnancy by cruising ahead. Drawing on the work of Ernst Bloch, José Esteban Muñoz recalls the queer past for guidance in presaging its future. He considers the work of seminal artists and writers such as Andy Warhol, LeRoi Jones, Frank O’Hara, Ray Johnson, Fred Herko, Samuel Delany, and Elizabeth Bishop, alongside contemporary performance and visual artists like Dynasty Handbag, My Barbarian, Luke Dowd, Tony Just, and Kevin McCarty in order to decipher the anticipatory illumination of art and its uncanny ability to open windows to the future.

In a startling repudiation of what the LGBT movement has held dear, Muñoz contends that queerness is instead a futurity bound phenomenon, a "not yet here" that critically engages pragmatic presentism. Part manifesto, part love-letter to the past and the future, Cruising Utopia argues that the here and now are not enough and issues an urgent call for the revivification of the queer political imagination.

 

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User Review  - kyuuketsukirui - LibraryThing

I picked this up off the new-books shelf at the library because the title caught my eye, but was really disappointed in it. Since he is explicitly critiquing the current LGBT movement, I had hopes ... Read full review

Contents

Feeling Utopia
1
Utopian Hermeneutics in the Face of Gay Pragmatism
19
Utopian Longings Queer Memories
33
Sexual AvantGardes and the Performance of Utopia
49
Approaching Kevin Aviance
65
LeRoi JonesAmiri Baraka Radical Black Traditions and Queer Futurity
83
Color illustrations
84
Queers Punks and the Utopian Performative
97
Queer Utopian Art and the Aesthetic Dimension
131
Fred Herkos Incandescent Illumination
147
Queer Failure Queer Virtuosity
169
Take Ecstasy with Me
185
Notes
191
Bibliography
209
Index
217
About the Author
223

Ray Johnson Jill Johnston and Queer Intermedia as System
115

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About the author (2009)

José Esteban Muñoz was Professor and past Chair of Performance Studies at New York University. He is the author of Disidentifications: Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics and co-editor of Pop Out: Culture and Dance in Latin/o America and Everynight Life: Queer Warhol.

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