Date of Degree

6-2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

English

Advisor

Mark McBeth

Committee Members

Steven Kruger

Wayne Koestenbaum

Subject Categories

Rhetoric and Composition

Keywords

Queer Literacy, Archives, Queer Theory

Abstract

Hermeneutics of Residue: Archival Slime and Queer Literacy spans the fields of composition and rhetoric, literacy studies, archival studies, and queer theory. Deploying unconventional archival texts such as public graffiti, self-published zines, and underground manuals, this project explores the notion of the queer archive and its complicated entanglements with historiography, sexual and cultural literacy, and epistemology. In order to pursue to this line of inquiry, the dissertation takes José Esteban Muñoz’s observation of a “vexed relationship” between queerness and evidence as an opportunity to broaden the definition of archive, and practice what Muñoz calls a “hermeneutics of residue.” Consequently, the manuscript endeavors to define what counts as “residue”—what counts as evidence—and what a hermeneutical practice of reading residue might do for historiography and literacy. Drawing on the careful interventions of scholars such as Saidiya Hartman and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, the goal is to position the imaginative, reparative intervention within historiography as not only an ethical obligation provoked by the limits of the archive, but also as a tool for dreaming more wildly and freely on the temporal imbrications of queer pasts and queer futures.

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