Closet Space: Geographies of Metaphor from the Body to the by Michael P. Brown

By Michael P. Brown

Is the closet only a metaphor? Closet Space offers a hugely unique account of the spatial metaphor of "the closet", and is the 1st geography textual content to target this crucial factor.

Using a number of examine ideas and fabrics, the ebook explores the closet via texts including:

• the oral histories of homosexual males within the united kingdom and US
• the sexualised panorama of a brand new Zealand city
• the nationwide census of england and the US
• overseas trip courses and travelogues,

and refers back to the paintings of Butler, Lefebvre and Foucault.

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Extra info for Closet Space: Geographies of Metaphor from the Body to the Globe (Critical Geographies)

Example text

Besides partiality in the theoretical debates considered here, the case studies offered are no less partial and biased. Obviously there are other, perhaps more important, closets at each of the scales I identify. Public-sex beats at the urban scale, or the ‘don’t ask–don’t tell’ policy at the national scale in the American military, come immediately to mind as two noteworthy elisions. The spatialisations discussed here were chosen partly out of my own positionality and locations, my interests in cultural and political geographies, and out of their availability to me as a researcher.

This point, in turn, allows us to see social action as moments or instances of broader power relations, but not simply explainable by them in some sort of ‘last instance’ because of the superstructures of (say) patriarchy and heterosexism. Ultimately they have no foundational base except for their own iterativeness. In sum, we can see how Butler’s ideas have solved a recurrent scholarly dilemma over how we understand that, despite individuals’ resistance to power structures like gender, class, or sexuality, they remain constantly oppressive factors in society.

For Austin, context is based on (1) a series of conventions made up of agreed procedures for the performative’s enacting; (2) appropriate persons, words and circumstances around the speech act; and (3) an expectable, unsurprising effect once the performative has done its task. If these contextual conditions are met, it has succeeded and Austin (1975: 25) calls it ‘felicitous’. Infelicity is the situation where the performative is ‘unhappy’ or fails. Etiolic speech acts, by contrast, are those performatives that neither succeed nor fail but where meaning is produced in a 29 THE BODIES IN THE CLOSET context where language is being used in a very self-conscious way (as in a poem, or a soliloquy or a pun).

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