Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




This dissertation is a critical critique of Queer Theory as an academic field. It argues that queer theory’s establishment as an academic discipline and as a periodizing and historicizing force through the bibliographies that make up its canon has upheld and supported the very normative models of temporality and progression that the field claims to resist. As a result, I argue, queer theory has focused most heavily on modernism and the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and has positioned the nineteenth century as the precursor to the queer strategies and representations that we see more fully fleshed out in the twentieth century, not as an inherent queer period itself. And this is where my project intervenes. My dissertation examines the lack of sustained attention to the nineteenth century within queer theory and looks at what happens to our narrative of queer literary history when we open up the queer literary canon beyond the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.