Tuesday, July 04, 2006

cliche-spotting: academia edition

i was just looking through this week's cpf and i realized that it is time to put the kibosh on:

"queer" as a verb, as in "to queer," or "queering."

this word is officially overused. i don't know why this bothers me so much, but see my Louisville post for more tired academic cliches. i guess i feel like once certain buzzwords become institutionalized, nobody really thinks about what they mean anymore. so now that everybody "queers," it's no longer necessary to think of what the process of queering entails. queering has in effect become reified into just another academic thing that doesn't really need to do anything anymore. one just inserts it in one's paper title, or sentence, or abstract, and POOF! the entire project is magically queered (no pun intended). which, of course, sort of misses the whole point of queering by rendering it, like, not at all queer.

although i should say that i know people who have used, and continue to use, "queering" to do actual work because they are simultaneously using the concept and problematizing or developing it. so, okay. keep on queering in the free world.

hey, "queering": it was fun while it lasted. you had a good run.


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