Same old

Queer theory, literature and the politics of sameness

By Ben Nichols

Same old


  • Hardcover
  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-6381-3
  • Pages: 232
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £20.00
  • Published Date: June 2022
  • BIC Category: Literature & literary studies / Literature: history & criticism, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: from c 1900 -, Contemporary Literature, Literature, Literary studies: from c 2000, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gay Studies, LITERARY CRITICISM / Modern / 20th Century, LITERARY CRITICISM / LGBT, Society & social sciences / Gender studies, gender groups


Same old offers a rethinking of positions that have defined queer theory since its inception in the early 1990s. Steeped in philosophical and political commitments to 'difference', queer theoretical frameworks have tended to assume that ideas related to 'sameness' only thwart and stymie queer forms of life. But this book takes a number of these ideas as its focus - uselessness, reproduction, normativity and reductionism - and reveals their unexpected formal and thematic importance to a range of queer literary genres from across the long twentieth century: fin-de-siècle aestheticism, feminist speculative fiction, lesbian middlebrow writing, and the 'stud file' or record of serial sex. Demonstrating how queer cultural objects often stand at odds with the frameworks that have been meant to help interpret and comprehend them, Same old interrogates the genealogy of the aversion to sameness that has kept those frameworks in place.


Introduction: Same old
1. Useless
2. Reproductive
3. Normative
4. Reductive
Coda: Same again


Ben Nichols is a Lecturer in Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Manchester

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