This essay is a meditation on the emergence of the concept of “queer futurity” based upon the author’s reflections on the life of José Esteban Muñoz and the author’s mourning upon the occasion of his death. The essay considers Muñoz’s everyday and embodied pedagogy recollected from early days at the Graduate Program in Literature at Duke University and in the vibrant context provided by Fredric Jameson, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and many other faculty and students, including close friend Brian Selsky. A reading of Muñoz’s Cruising Utopia sustains the meditation, and this work is taken as itself a reflection on times and experiences characterized by a split temporality in which an insurrectionary queer theory was emergent. Retrospectively, in large part through the figure of Muñoz himself, one could feel “queerness’s pull” in Durham, North Carolina, in 1989–90, even though Muñoz had not yet invented the concept.

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