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French Studies in and for the Twenty-first Century$
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Philippe Lane and Michael Worton

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781846316555

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846316692

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French Studies and Discourses of Sexuality

French Studies and Discourses of Sexuality

(p.95) 8 French Studies and Discourses of Sexuality
French Studies in and for the Twenty-first Century

Emma Wilson

Liverpool University Press

French Studies in the UK has responded rather quickly to queer theory and its questioning of sexuality compared to related disciplines in France, in part through increased dialogue with French Studies in the US, and in part through the productive interaction between academia and political activism in the wake of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. This chapter examines how this work looks beyond binaries of straight and queer, while respecting diversity and political positioning, as well as the ways in which such work makes a concerted case for the seriousness and impact of engagement with discourses of sexuality in our understanding of narrative and interpretation, of ethics and the relation to the other, of identity politics, and of what it means to be human. It is argued that that the treatment of these questions in literary and cultural production in French has been significantly critiqued and illuminated in UK French Studies.

Keywords:   queer theory, sexuality, homosexuality, French Studies, UK, diversity, identity politics

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