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What's Queer about Europe?Productive Encounters and Re-enchanting Paradigms$
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Mireille Rosello and Sudeep Dasgupta

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823255351

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823255351.001.0001

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Queer, Republican France, and Its Euro-American “Others”

Queer, Republican France, and Its Euro-American “Others”

(p.91) Queer, Republican France, and Its Euro-American “Others”
What's Queer about Europe?

Lucille Cairns

Fordham University Press

This chapter focuses on a key text by the French pioneer of queer studies, Marie-Hélène Bourcier: Sexpolitiques: Queer Zones 2 (2005). Bourcier analyses the role of one central European institution, the French Republican state, in relation to nation-state rights of sexual and other marginalized groups. She arraigns the resistance of L’Université française to “imported” intellectual paradigms such as cultural studies and queer. She interrogates the role of the openly gay politician Delanoë (dubbed the ‘homo republicanus’). Further, she links contemporary French xenophobia and Republican sexual democracy, and exposes the clash between French feminist politics and queer. Bourcier excoriates Republican universalism, but my own critique of her multiple critiques will explore the dangers of another form of universalism, viz. a conceptual universalism that posits “Queer” as the correct theory of politics.

Keywords:   Bourcier, Marie-Hélène, French Republicanism, Queer Studies, French feminism, Sexual democracy, Xenophobia

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