Space and Time of Queer Masculinities in Contemporary Fiction

Andrés Ibarra Cordero | University of Amsterdam | Space and Time of Queer Masculinities in Contemporary Fiction | Supervisors: Shelley Godsland & Murat Aydemir | 2016-2020

My research examines representations of space and time in contemporary English and Spanish fiction by writers who have explored the construction of queer/gay male identities at the turn of the twentieth century. In doing this, I place a comparative analysis of non-normative masculinities found in both English and Spanish narratives in dialogue with contemporary queer issues, in particular those of identity politics that attempt to account for spatiality and temporality. The late twentieth century has witnessed an explosion in literature with gay and lesbian themes. Literary scholars have often pointed marginalised groups ―postcolonial subjects and women, for instance― disrupt liberal and progressive notions of temporality. Similarly, queer uses of time and space expand in opposition to heterosexuality, reproduction, and thus do not adhere to normative schedules. This approach is informed by different critical issues of space and temporality. Some of the concepts proposed by Foucault, Lefebvre and Benjamin are used to explore the links between space, location and sexuality. Where queer theory originally considered gender and sexuality, a noteworthy shift in recent years is that of non-normative temporality and spaces. In this line, the concepts behind my research are mainly informed by the works of Halberstam, Freeman, Love and Muñoz. This investigation attempts to locate fictional ‘elsewheres’ that have authorized same-sex male desire in contemporary fiction. It also hopes to contribute to queer cultural history and to literary/critical explorations of queer fiction from comparative perspectives, beyond national and linguistics constraints. Some of the general questions I intend to answer are the following: Is ‘queer’ a significant or an umbrella term to describe the fiction of these writers? Does the use of a queer time and/or space necessarily emphasize the supposedly dissident and subversive potential of these identities? What are the common patterns (if any) in these literary representations of queer temporalities?