the new homonormativity:
the sexual politics of neoliberalism

Vortrag, 12. April 2006, Universität Hamburg

During the past decade, organized gay politics in the U.S. and Europe have moved rightward.  Diverging from its varied roots in progressive to left social movements, mainstream gay rights politics now constitute, not a resistance, but an arm of neoliberalism–one of the centers for the production of neoliberal “equality” politics.  This is especially apparent as the pressures to dismantle post World War II welfare states build–and gay rights organizations climb onto the privatization band wagon rather than press a critique in the realm of political economy.  In the realm of culture and “lifestyle” politics, the organized gay movements have begun to promote a new homonormativity–a public image of prosperous monogamous couples devoted to domestic consumerism.  A critical queer politics exists alongside this neoliberal homonormative front, but its social forms are currently mostly localized and relatively isolated.  Much of academic queer theory meanwhile continues to rework abstract theorizations unconnected to the current conjuncture, but some new work is emerging to theorize the new homonormativity, and the political economy of corporate globalization in which it is embedded.  This lecture will review these emergent political and theoretical critiques.


Lisa Duggan is Associate Professor of American Studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University.  She is author of Sapphic Slashers: Sex, Violence and American Modernity, co-author with Nan Hunter of Sex Wars: Sexual Dissent and Political Culture, co-editor with Lauren Berlant of Our Monica, Ourselves: The Clinton Affair and National Interest, and author most recently of Twlight of Equality: Neoliberalism, Cultural Politics and the Attack on Democracy. She is currently at work on The End of Marriage? The War Over the Future of State Sponsored Love (forthcoming from University of California press, spring 2007).


Bridging the Cultural Gap: An Interview with Lisa Duggan. By Elena Mora, (02.01.2006)

The Twilight of Equality. Neoliberalism, Cultural Politics, and the Attack on Democracy, Boston (Beacon Press) 2003

Our Monica, Ourselves, The Clinton Affair and National Interest. Co-edited with Lauren Berlant (NYU Press) 2001

Das Unglaubliche Schwinden der Öffentlichkeit, in: quaestio (Hg.): Queering Demokratie. Sexuelle Politiken, Berlin (Querverlag) 2000: 87-95

Sex Wars. Sexual Dissent and Political Culture. Co-edited with Nan Hunter, London / New York (Routledge) 1995


Wednesday 12th of April, 2006, 7pm
University of Hamburg, Main Building, Lecture Hall B
Edmund-Siemers-Allee 1


Thursday April 13th, 11-13 h
Hamburger Schulmuseum
Seilerstrasse 42 (St. Pauli)

Lecture and workshop are organized in cooperation with the graduate school “Dekonstruktion und Gestaltung : Gender” and the “AG Queer Studies”, University of Hamburg. They are also supported by the “Frauenförderung des Department Sozialwissenschaften”, University of Hamburg and the “Rosa Luxemburg Foundation”. Thank you!