LOSING HOPE, FINDING NEMO AND DREAMING OF ALTERNATIVES
Pp. 9-22 (14)
Judith Jack Halberstam
For Halberstam, the alternative resides in a creative engagement with subjugated
histories, an ecstatic investment in the subcultural and a defiant refusal of a dominant model
of theory—one that Halberstam considers to be at odds with cultural studies—which
devotes itself to the production of ever more detailed maps of the hegemonic and to a
particular mode of disciplinary authority. In keeping with her earlier work on the gaps and
fissures in dominant masculinity expressed as female masculinity or the disruptions of
normative uses of time and space expressed by subcultural actors, and in recognition of the
work represented here in this volume, Halberstam argues for more serious engagement with
subjugated knowledges, tries to enact a current of public intellectualism that she calls ‘low
theory,’ and argues for the necessity of producing both alternative knowledge formations
and their archives.
Alternative, subjugated, subcultural, low theory, failure, knowledge, queer,
Halberstam, public intellectualism, cultural studies.
University of Southern California.