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Title: La vie en queer : queering sight and envisioning liberated subjectivities
Authors: Lim, Kai Tjoon
Keywords: Humanities::Language
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Abstract: Sight has hitherto been consistently vilified in theoretical discourse. While feminist and postcolonial theories have succeeded in extending discussions about the gaze within power dynamics, purely naming and uncovering how these visual oppressions function do little to conceptualize possibilities of moving beyond identification processes. Unlike other physical senses such as touch and smell that have already been theorized as bases of ethical intersubjective relationality, sight has yet been reclaimed as part of an affirmative politics to break through normative barriers which undergird the exclusionary processes structuring identity politics. This project is concerned with queer interventions that seek to map a theoretical space for rethinking sight as a possible mode of transgression from the prescriptive molds of identity, and its potential to liberate bodies and constrained subjectivities from the traditional, coercive frameworks of visual objectification. Accordingly, the direction this essay takes to queer sight entails the usage of several methodologies that work between fields of enquiry, such as psychoanalysis and new materialisms to structure it. Moving across its ‘composite’ methodology is a means to form political resistances to hegemonic and exclusionary views of subjectivity, while also exemplifying the essay’s structural commitment to the notions of queering. I am therefore interested in extending the potentialities of queering as more a trans-methodological process rather than an identity or identification explicitly related to LGBTQ+ representation. Beyond just critiquing the restrictive functions of constructed social norms, queering sight has the objective of disrupting the intransigent, hierarchized dualisms between Self and Other, a notion that previous discourses on sight have upheld. To this end, I engage with Josh Malerman’s Bird Box where in its peculiar and particular denial of visual access, the novel allows for productive possibilities of queering the gaze through its characters.
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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