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Queer orientation: Selfhood and poetics

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At the (dis)juncture between abstract notions of our being in time and our practical arts of living, I suggest that ontological endeavours that examine everyday experience can speak of being in terms of 'interstitialities' and 'thresholds'. These are moments of in-between-ness that exist in such places as the propinquities of poetry and the mundane, theory and practice, self and other, as well as the over-arching temporal components of a Western chronos: past, present and future. This article links the arts of living queerly, and moments of in-between-ness, by introducing them as problems for existential phenomenology and it is through them that it examines selfhood as transformative practice. In my view the latest queer work in phenomenology lends itself to unorthodox analyses of being; that is, being in relation to oddity, which is then applied to oblique orientation, to self-reference or care and the reality and appearance of queer life experience. This article illuminates, as an addition to the conversations that are already happening in queer phenomenology, how queer being can be understood as transformative being. The terms interstice, interstitial and interstitiality are used as a way of describing not only an in-between space (a generic structural concept) but also a threshold knowledge or consciousness space.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Media, Communication and Culture, Program of Gender and Cultural Studies, Murdoch University, Perth, Australia

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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