The authors formulate “queer reconstellations” as a way to push the field of queer studies beyond its critical settlement in programmatic thinking that often organizes the field in predictable pathways. They also challenge those deviations that do not fundamentally transform the field’s subjects and objects. Using “left of queer” as at once a provocation, a nodal point, and a pathway into the arts of being ungovernable, this afterword proposes a constellated approach for wagering methods, histories, ideas, and cases that weaves objectless critique not as telos but as a necessary experiment for expansive thinking, writing, and doing what has not yet been thought, written, or done. To constellate queerness in this planetary mode is to hold on to the different methods and analytics proposed by this special issue’s editors and contributors as necessary rearrangements that may redefine and revivify our cognate fields. In this regard, the authors are inspired to meditate on a broad spectrum of theoretical musings and projects that have taken hold of the field of queer studies, especially in the United States, while asking for more transnational, decolonial, and global South thinking and practices that are at once perverse and world making for our own islands of misfit toys.
Afterword: Queer Reconstellations
Eng-Beng Lim is founding director the Consortium of Studies in Race, Migration, and Sexuality and associate professor of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at Dartmouth College. He is working on two experimental writing projects on queer megastructures of feelings and botanical critique in the Asias. He is author of the award-winning Brown Boys and Rice Queens: Spellbinding Performance in the Asias (2014).
Tavia Nyong’o is professor of African American studies, American studies, and theater and performance studies at Yale University. The author of two books, The Amalgamation Waltz: Race, Performance, and the Ruses of Memory (2009) and Afro-Fabulations: The Queer Drama of Black Life (2018), he is presently working on a study of speculative self-fashioning in queer African diasporas.
Eng-Beng Lim, Tavia Nyong’o; Afterword: Queer Reconstellations. Social Text 1 December 2020; 38 (4 (145)): 149–156. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01642472-8680490
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