IN 2009, Heather Love’s first book Feeling Backward: Loss and the Politics of Queer History established her as a soft-spoken rock star in the world of Queer Theory. Why, then, in a panel discussion uploaded to YouTube from 2016, did she attest that she was in the middle of a “personal crisis in the humanities”? She expressed impatience with the limits of her academic training and wanted to test its assumptions. That prompted her to ask a question that’s usually lobbed by skeptics: “What is Queer Theory about?” Her answer can be found in a new book, Underdogs: Social Deviance and Queer Theory.
Michael Civello is a PhD candidate in theater at the U. of Illinois.