Books

Queer Constellations
Subcultural Space in the Wake of the City

Discovers parallels between modern gay and lesbian views of urban life and Benjamin's Paris, "the capital of the nineteenth century."

Queer Constellations investigates the dreams and catastrophes of recent urban history viewed through new queer narratives of inner-city life. The "gay village," "gay mecca," "gai Paris," the "lesbian flaneur," the "lesbian bohème"—these and other urban phantasmagoria feature paradoxically in this volume as figures of revolutionary utopia and commodity spectacle, as fossilized archetypes of social transformation and ruins of haunting cultural potential.

Dianne Chisholm introduces readers to new practices of walking, seeing, citing, and remembering the city in works by Neil Bartlett, Samuel Delany, Robert Glück, Alan Hollinghurst, Gary Indiana, Eileen Myles, Sarah Schulman, Gail Scott, Edmund White, and David Wojnarowicz. Reading these authors with reference to the history, sociology, geography, and philosophy of space, particularly to the everyday avant-garde production and practice of urban space, Chisholm reveals how—and how effectively—queer narrative documentary resembles and reassembles Walter Benjamin's constellations of Paris, "capital of the nineteenth century." Considering experimental queer writing in critical conjunction with Benjamin's city writing, the book shows how a queer perspective on inner-city reality exposes contradictions otherwise obscured by mythic narratives of progress.

If Benjamin regards the Paris arcade as a microcosm of high capitalism, wherein the (un)making of industrial society is perceived retrospectively, in contemporary queer narrative we see the sexually charged and commodity-entranced space of the gay bathhouse as a microcosm of late capitalism and as an exemplary site for excavating the contradictions of mass sex. In Chisholm's book we discover how, looking back on the ruins of queer mecca, queer authors return to Benjamin to advance his "dialectics of seeing"; how they cruise the paradoxes of market capital, blasting a queer era out of the homogeneous course of history.

Paper ISBN: 0-8166-4404-7
Cloth ISBN: 0-8166-4403-9
Format: 328 pages | 2 line art | 5 7/8 x 9
Pub. Date: January 2005
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press



H.D.'s Freudian Poetics
Psychoanalysis in Translation
 

Unhappy at perceiving her culturally assigned role as the mute object of men's sexual fantasies, H.D. entered analysis with Freud in 1933, hoping that it would help her articulate her own desires, dreams, and aspirations. In her subsequent writings, according to Dianne Chisholm, H.D. not only worked through traumatic postwar memories but also went on to create a feminist psychoanalytic poetics. Reading the postimagist long poems and autobiographical prose in the light of Freud's theories, Chisholm demonstrates that H.D.'s interpretation and revision of those theories engage important questions about women, desire, and language.

Chisholm traces the development of such concepts as phantasy, transference, masochism, narcissism, and melancholia through H.D.'s works, including Nights, The Gift, Her, Tribute to Freud, Trilogy, and Helen in Egypt. Drawing on the theoretical insights of Shoshana Felman, Jacques Derrida, Luce Irigaray, Catherine Clément, and Leo Bersani, she maintains that H.D.'s interpretation of Freud amounts to critical intertext rather than to faithful translation. Chisholm shows how H.D. reconstitutes in her writing the repressed subject of woman's history and formulates a concept of woman's otherness which Freud's theories about female sexuality had overlooked.

H.D.'s Freudian Poetics will be challenging and rewarding reading for scholars and students in the fields of literary criticism, the history of psychoanalysis, and literary theory, and for those with an interest in autobiography and modernist poetry.

ISBN: 0801480094 
Format: Paperback, 304 pages
Pub. Date: June 1992 
Publisher: Cornell University Press 
Reading Women Writing



Feminism and Psychoanalysis: A Critical Dictionary (Blackwell Reference)

Consultant editor with Juliet Flower MacCannell and Margaret Whitford.  Edited by Elizabeth Wright. 

Feminism and Psychoanalysis is of major interest to those who are aware of its two component areas, and wish to explore the common ground between them more intensively. The Dictionary charts the intersection of feminism and psychoanalysis via a number of domains that establish cross-references for crucial themes and allow theory and practice to work upon each other. The entries present evidence of live issues rather than solely agreed definitions. The underlying problem of such issues will cluster largely around the following questions: To what extent has psychoanalysis contributed to the critique of phallocentrism and to problems of subjectivity, of "masculinity" and "femininity"? Can feminism show that it is biologism rather than nature that oppresses women? What are the diverse ways in which feminists have taken up the struggle over the production, distribution and transformation of meaning in a number of specific cultural practices? How has psychoanalysis been useful in enabling women to challenge the forms of representation that constrain and oppress them? Which parts of modernism, the avant garde, and postmodernism constitute an area of political relevance for feminism? What has come out of the intersection of psychoanalysis with literary theory and criticism that is of political use for feminists?

ISBN: 0631183477
Format: Paperback, 485 pages
Pub. Date: September 1992
Publisher: Blackwell Reference