Queer Attachments: The Cultural Politics of Shame

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Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2008 - Social Science - 248 pages
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Why is shame so central to our identity and to our culture? What is its role in stigmatizing subcultures such as the Irish, the queer or the underclass? Can shame be understood as a productive force?In this lucid and passionately argued book Sally R. Munt explores the vicissitudes of shame across a range of texts, cultural milieux, historical locations and geographical spaces, from eighteenth century Irish politics to Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, from contemporary US academia to the aesthetics of Tracey Emin. She finds that the dynamics of shame are consistent across cultures and historical periods and that patterns of shame are disturbingly long-lived. But she also reveals shame as an affective emotion, engendering attachments between bodies and between subjects - queer attachments. Above all, she celebrates the extraordinary human ability to turn shame into joy: the party after the fall. Queer Attachments is an interdisciplinary synthesis of cultural politics, emotions theory and narrative that challenges us to think about the queerly creative proclivities of shame.
 

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Contents

of the drunken father are visited on the heads of the children
24
The Shameful Histories of Edmund
31
IrishAmerican Shame in New Yorks
55
The Queer Turn of Shame
79
Contagious Acts of Shame
105
Shameless in Queer Street
133
Uncanny Attachments in the
161
Queer Heterotopias in Philip Pullmans
181
Tracey Emins
203
Tate Gallery London 20 October 199923 January 2000
206
Bibliography
229
Index
243
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