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Abstract

In her paper "Queer Theory and Discourses of Desire," Louise O. Vasvári proposes that the multiplicity of ways that language constructs -- or silences -- the socially constructed expression of erotic desire is a necessary complement to the study of gendered and of sexual identity. Vasvári contributes to queer theory and its subfield, queer linguistics, with the term "queer" understood as more inclusive and less male-oriented than "gay" where queer theory seeks to read between and outside the lines of the dominant heteronormative discourses that studies how mainstream reproductive heterosexuality comes to be (re)produced through cultural narratives as self-evident, obligatory, and desirable. Queer theory also aims to examine hitherto unheard of voices, suppressed narratives, as well as the development of counter-hegemonic queer discourses that talk about same-sex and other "perverse" desires and subjectivities. Based on her discussion of queer theory, Vasvári presents and analyses representative samples of queer discourses from a range of cultural texts that serve to encode desire, with the aim of working towards a comparative analysis of heteronormative versus "queer" scripts. While most texts Vasvári discusses are by necessity from English, her paper includes analyses of emerging queer discourses through the example of contemporary Hungarian poetry.

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