Feeling the Nation, Mining the Archive: Reflections on Lauren Berlant's Queen of America

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This essay engages with Lauren Berlant's 2007 book, The Queen of America Goes to Washington City, as a key text in the trajectory of cultural studies scholarship and the emergence of affect theory. It analyzes Berlant's concepts of infantile citizenship, the affective relationship to the nation, the intimate public sphere, the emergence of a national sexuality, and the counter-practices of “Diva” citizenship. The essay argues that Queen of America is a pivotal book in cultural studies scholarship for understanding nationalism, political agency, and the individual, intimate impact of mass culture.

Keywords: Affect; Citizenship; Nation; Public; Queer

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14791420.2012.741099

Publication date: December 1, 2012

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