Que(e)rying Theory #5 will address Leo Bersani‘s 1987 essay “Is the Rectum a Grave?,” found in his book Is the Rectum a Grave? and Other Essays (U of Chicago, 2009).
Leo Bersani’s infamous essay “Is the Rectum a Grave?” not only launched a critical intervention into conversations about gay male sexuality at the height of the AIDS epidemic, but also inaugurated a long-standing debate in queer theory about relationality and the social order. We will be revisiting the essay in light of Bersani’s recently published reflection on the piece from After Sex? (Duke UP 2011), in which he recants and recalibrates some of his core arguments.
Both Leo Bersani’s Is the Rectum a Grave? and Other Essays and After Sex? On Writing Since Queer Theory, edited by Janet Halley and Andrew Parker, are available for purchase at the Bureau.
Please support the Bureau by purchasing your copy from the Bureau! Thank you!
PDFs of “Is the Rectum a Grave?” are available online, but please email the organizer if you need a copy of Bersani’s essay in After Sex?
connspencer [at] gmail [dot] com
Connor Spencer is a writer living in New York City. He studied English at New York University, where he conducted bi-coastal archival research on the artists David Wojnarowicz and Gary Fisher. In 2014, he was a finalist for the Marshall Scholarship. Connor tweets about leftism, queer politics, and dog costumes @conneriks.
Image: ACT UP (Gran Fury). Installation view: “Let the Record Show…” November 20 1987 – January 24 1988. Courtesy New Museum, New York. Photo: Fred Scrutin