"I'm a Mountain Biking Vampire Witch From the Future!": Queer Decolonial Killjoys in Queer Studies and Politics

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Creator: 

Hoelke, Charlotte Theresa

Date: 

2019

Abstract: 

This thesis asks how queer scholarship and politics will maintain a radically queer critical edge, specifically an unsettling, decolonial approach that does not take for granted the continuance of queer liberal and settler colonial structures. A longstanding debate in queer studies and politics is the tension between queer assimilation vs queer radicalism. However, even the radical unsettling approaches that discuss radical queer futurity (Muñoz, and Edelman) often do not centre the important context of settler colonialism, even while critiquing normativity and imagining better futures. So how do we locate examples of imaginings of queer decolonial futures: ones that account for settler colonialism? To find out, I chose to examine selected performances in specific popular "silly archives of unhappy feelings," and found complex examples of uncanny, at times monstrous, performances by artists (Trixie Mattel, Katya Zamoldchikova and Miss Chief Eagle Testickle). These artists, I argue, exemplify and embody the characteristics of what I call "Queer Decolonial Killjoys" (QDKs). Building on Ahmed's concepts of "Feminist Killjoys," and "Unhappy Queers," I demonstrate that the artists I discuss not only unsettle gendered, sexualized, and racialized norms (à la Ahmed), but that they also act as Decolonial Killjoys because they use complex performative strategies to also critique settler colonialism and queer liberalism. Their performances, I suggest, also gesture to important possibilities of queer and decolonial futures. Finally, I argue that the performances of QDKs can remind queer studies scholars to become more comfortable with being uncomfortable/unsettled, and may help us to learn how to begin imagining radical queer decolonial futures.

Subject: 

Canadian Studies
Gender Studies

Language: 

English

Publisher: 

Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Doctor of Philosophy: 
Ph.D.

Thesis Degree Level: 

Doctoral

Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Canadian Studies

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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