Abstract

Ideas and practices of “the commons” have been urgently explored in recent years in attempts to forge alternatives to global capitalism and its privatizing enclosures of social life. Contemporary queer energies have been directed to commons-forming initiatives that sustain queer lives otherwise marginalized by heteronormative society and mainstream LGBTQ politics: from activist provision of social services to the maintenance of networks around queer art, protest, public sex, and bar cultures. However, such instances of queer political action and imagination have rarely been recognized within extant discourses of the commons. This introduction sets out differing genealogies of thought within scholarship on the commons and, building on the work of the performance studies scholar José Esteban Muñoz, it asks how, if at all, it is possible to theorize a queer commons.

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