In Wild Things Jack Halberstam offers an alternative history of sexuality by tracing the ways in which wildness has been associated with queerness and queer bodies throughout the twentieth century. Halberstam theorizes the wild as an unbounded and unpredictable space that offers sources of opposition to modernity's orderly impulses. Wildness illuminates the normative taxonomies of sexuality against which radical queer practice and politics operate. Throughout, Halberstam engages with a wide variety of texts, practices, and cultural imaginaries—from zombies, falconry, and M. NourbeSe Philip's Zong! to Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are and the career of Irish anticolonial revolutionary Roger Casement—to demonstrate how wildness provides the means to know and to be in ways that transgress Euro-American notions of the modern liberal subject. With Wild Things, Halberstam opens new possibilities for queer theory and for wild thinking more broadly.
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About the Author:
Jack HalberstamisProfessor of Gender Studies and English at Columbia University. Halberstam is the author of seven books including: Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters (Duke UP, 1995), Female Masculinity (Duke UP, 1998), In A Queer Time and Place (NYU Press, 2005), The Queer Art of Failure (Duke UP, 2011), Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal (Beacon Press, 2012) and, a short book titled Trans*: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variance (University of California Press).
About the Speakers:
Tavia Nyong’ois Chair and Professor of Theater & Performance Studies, Professor of American Studies, and Professor of African-American Studies at Yale University. Nyong'o is the author of The Amalgamation Waltz: Race, Performance, and the Ruses of Memory (2009), Afro-Fabulations: The Queer Drama of Black Life (2018) and also writes for contemporary art and culture publications such as Artforum, Texte Zur Kunst, Cabinet, n+1, NPR, and the LA Review of Books.
Joseph Albernaz is Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He specializes in the literature, especially poetry, of the Romantic period (late 18th and early 19th centuries), with a particular interest in the legacies of Romanticism across a number of theoretical and critical domains. His main current project traces new formations of community, ecology, and the everyday in Romantic literature and its twentieth-century and contemporary afterlives.
Audra Simpson is Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University. Her book, Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across the Borders of Settler States (2014, DUP) won the Sharon Stephens Prize (AES), the “Best first Book Award” (NAISA) as well as the Lora Romero Award (ASA) in addition to honorable mentions.
Alan Stewart is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. Among his publications he has authored The Cradle King: The Life of James VI and I, the First Monarch of a United Great Britain; Shakespeare's Letters; and, most recently, the second volume of The Oxford History of Life-Writing covering the Early Modern period.