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Beyond RepresentationTelevision Drama and the Politics and Aesthetics of Identity$
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Geraldine Harris

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780719074585

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719074585.001.0001

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Only human nature after all? Romantic attractions and queer dilemmas (Queer as Folk)

Only human nature after all? Romantic attractions and queer dilemmas (Queer as Folk)

(p.138) 5 Only human nature after all? Romantic attractions and queer dilemmas (Queer as Folk)
Beyond Representation

Geraldine Harris

Manchester University Press

This chapter presents a discussion of conflicting and competing definitions of the term ‘queer’ as signal for controversy within the lesbian and gay community, with the representation of gays and lesbians in television dramas. It suggests that there is a proliferation of opposing and contradictory meanings for this term, while it may be considered a ‘subversive repetition’ of a derogatory term that opens up an identity category; it does not always signify a progressive fashion for everyone. This includes consideration of the concept of a queer or ‘camp’ aesthetic and of the practice of ‘queer reading’. Furthermore, it offers an analysis of the television series, Queer as Folk, which argues that if this drama can be considered ‘progressive’, this is not simply a matter of its use of a postmodern or camp aesthetic but of an interplay between formal devices associated with these ‘sensibilities’ and a certain level of referential realism.

Keywords:   Queer as Folk, camp aesthetics, queer reading, subversive repetition, television series

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