Award Date

5-1-2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

First Committee Member

Michael Bruner

Second Committee Member

Donovan Conley

Third Committee Member

Emma Bloomfield

Fourth Committee Member

Javon Johnson

Number of Pages

210

Abstract

The existing literature on queer utopianism tends to analyze static aesthetic artifacts as opposed to diachronic social movements designed to create material policy changes. This opens room for various criticisms of queer utopianism regarding it being too wishful and devolving into political and social forms of queer dystopia. In order to remedy this concern, this thesis seeks to investigate how queer utopic thought can be used to create long-lasting change. To answer this question, this thesis is broadly divided into two sections—one theoretical and one practical. My theoretical section delves into an analysis of the after-effects of queer utopic cuts and seeks to explain how they can create long-lasting change. My practical section uses ACT UP as a case study in queer utopianism and analyzes six demonstrations by AIDS activists as queer utopic moments. From both of these sections, I draw conclusions about how these cuts in heteronormativity can be used to create long-lasting change.

Keywords

ACT UP; Heteronormativity; Heterotopia; Queer; Social movement; Utopia

Disciplines

Communication | Gender and Sexuality | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Rhetoric

Language

English


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