Notes: Charles Morris & John Sloop “Other Lips, Whither Kisses”

Morris, Charles E., & John M. Sloop. (2017). Other lips, whither kisses? Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, 14(2), 182-186.


Morris and Sloop, in response to the Pulse shooting in June, 2016, respond to the performance and discourse surrounding two men kissing, asking after performances of race, ethnicity, and ability that are omitted in this dominant discourse.

Keywords: Queer, Queer Rhetorics, Queer Theory, Queer Futurity, LGBTQ, Rhetoric, Communication, Intersectionality


Muñoz, José Esteban. (2000). Feeling brown: Ethnicity and affect. In Ricardo Bracho’s “The Sweetest Hangover (and Other STDs)”, Theatre Journal, 52(1), 67–79.

Chávez, Karma. (2015). The precariousness of homonationalism: The queer agency of terrorism in post-9/11 rhetoric. QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking, 2(3), 32–58.


“[I]t is fair to ask on what grounds we invoked queer worldmaking when our analysis and vision exhibited noexplicit markers or sustained analysis of intersectionality” (184).

“Both of these interventions offered a vibrant critical visual mass, but more, they helped us realize that kissing’s queer futurity… has so much to do with performance, affect, race and ethnicity—which is to insist that we’re seeking here the very specific bodies-in-pleasure gathered on Latinx Night at Pulse before they were cut down, brown bodies in pleasurable excess affectively interconnected, who in their racial and ethnic specificity were subsequently and unsurprisingly erased in large measure by mainstream public discourse” (184).

Notes: José Muñoz, “The Future Is in the Present: Sexual Avant-Gardes and the Performance of Utopia.” in Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity

Muñoz, José E. (2009). The future is in the present: Sexual avant-gardes and the performance of utopia. in Cruising utopia: The then and there of queer futurity. New York: New York University Press, 49-64.


Muñoz argues that utopian critiques work by insisting the dialectic relationship between the present and the future, showing moments of queer public performances that anticipate and reveal queer-future possibilities.

Keywords: Queer, Queer Theory, Queer Futurity


“Certain performances of queer citizenship contain what I call an anticipatory illumination of a queer world, a sign of an actually existing queer reality, a kernel of political possibility within a stultifying heterosexual present” (49).

“I want to suggest that it is a pathos that undergirds the ageism and, for lack of a better word, lookism of all gay male erotic economies” (59).

“This economy eschews the standardized routes in which heteronormative late capitalism mandates networking relations of sex for money” (59).

“The stickers function as performing objects inasmuch as they solicit a response from spectators. Sometimes people attempt to rip the stickers down; at other times people write directly on the stickers. The stickers themselves then become forums for public debate, where people work through pressing social issues in a space away from the corrupt mediatized majoritarian public sphere. The performances that the stickers demand from viewers open the possibility of critical thinking and intervention; they encourage lucidity and political action. They are calls that demand, in the tradition of African American vernacular culture, a response” (61).

“The peaceful vigil become something else. It became a moment when queer people, frustrated and sick of all the violence they had endured, saw our masses. The police responded by breaking up the group, factioning off segments of our groupings, obscuring our mass” (64).

“The state, like Delany, understands the power of our masses, a power that can be realized only by surpassing the solitary pervert model and accessing group identity. Doing so entails resisting the privatization of queer culture… The riot was sobering because the mechanisms of policing were partially displayed, revealed for an evening, and it became very clear to everyone how the idea of queers making contact in a mass uprising scared the state. The utopian promise of our public performance was responded with shattering force. Even though this impromptu rebellion was overcome easily by the state, the activist anger, a productive, generative anger, let those assembled in rage glean a queer future within a repressive heteronormative present” (64).

Notes: José Muñoz, “Ghosts of Public Sex: Utopian Longings, Queer Memories” in Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity

Muñoz, José E. (2009). Ghosts of public sex: Utopian longings, queer memories. in Cruising utopia: The then and there of queer futurity. New York: New York University Press, 33-48.


Muñoz traces the ghosts within queer life and writing of HIV/AIDS and how these ghosts might help us reimagine the social.

Keywords: Queer, Queer Theory, Queer Futurity


“[U]topia offers us a critique of the present, of what is, by casting a picture of what can and perhaps will be” (35).

“Utopianism can only exist via critique of the dominant order; it has no space to exist outside of the most theoretically safeguarded abstractions” (39).

“Queer world-making, then, hinges on the possibility to map a world where one is allowed to cast pictures of utopia and to include such pictures in any map of the social” (40).

Notes: José Muñoz, “Queerness as Horizon: Utopian Hermeneutics in the Face of Gay Pragmatism” in Cruising Utopia: The Then and Now of Queer Futurity

Muñoz, José E. (2009). Queerness as horizon: Utopian hermeneutics in the face of gay pragmatism. in Cruising utopia: The then and there of queer futurity. New York: New York University Press, 19-32.


Muñoz insists on queerness as a not-quite-here and that queerness as utopian and uses this positioning of queer as a means to be beyond the pragmatic and neoliberal.

Keywords: Queer, Queer Theory, Queer Futurity


“This ‘we’ does not speak to a merely identitarian logic but instead to a logic of futurity. The ‘we’ speaks to a ‘we’ that is ‘not yet conscious,’ the future society that is being invoked and addressed at the same moment. The ‘we’ is not content to describe who the collective is but more nearly describes what the collective and the larger social order could be, what it should be… This is to say that the field of utopian possibility is one in which multiple forms of belonging in difference adhere to a belonging in collectivity” (20).

“The not-quite-conscious is the realm of potentiality that must be called on, and insisted on, if we are ever to look beyond the pragmatic sphere of the here and now, the hollow nature of the present” (21).

“I suggest that holding queerness in a sort of ontologically humble state, under a conceptual grid in which we do not claim to always already know queerness in the world, potentially staves off the ossifying effects of neoliberal ideology and the degredation of politics brought about by representations of queerness in contemporary culture” (22).

“Indeed, to live inside straight time and ask for, desire, and imagine another time and place is to represent and perform a desire that is both utopian and queer” (26).

“Indeed it is important to complicate queer history and understand it as doing more than the flawed process of merely evidencing. Evidencing protocols often fail to enact real hermeneutical inquiry and instead opt to reinstate that which is known in advance. Thus, practices of knowledge production that are content merely to cull selectively from the past, while striking a pose of positivist undertaking or empirical knowledge retrieval, often nullify the political imagination” (27).

“These ephemeral traces, flickering illuminations from other times and places, are sites that may indeed appear merely romantic, even to themselves. Nonetheless they assist those of us who wish to follow queerness’ promise, its still unrealized potential, to see something else, a component that the German aesthetician would call cultural surplus. I build on this idea to suggest that the surplus is both cultural and affective. More distinctly, I point to a queer feeling of hope in the face of hopeless heteronormative maps of the present where futurity is indeed the province of normative reproduction” (28, original emphasis).


Notes: José Esteban Muñoz “Introduction: Feeling Utopia” in Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity

Muñoz, José E. (2009). Introduction: Feeling utopia. in Cruising utopia: The then and there of queer futurity. New York: New York University Press, 1-18.


Muñoz positions his utopian critique as a response to antirelational critiques within queer critiques.

Keywords: Queer, Queer Theory, Queer Futurity


“Queerness is not yet here. Queerness is an ideality. Put another way, we are not yet queer. We may never touch queerness, but we can feel it as the warm illumination of a horizon imbued with potentiality. We have never been queer, yet queerness exists for us as an ideality that can be distilled from the past and used to imagine a future. The future is queerness’s domain. Queerness is a structuring and educated mode of desiring that allows us to see and feel beyond the quagmire of the present” (1).

“Queerness is essentially about the rejection of a here and now and an insistence on potentiality or concrete possibility for another world” (1).

“The moment in which I write this book the critical imagination is in peril. The dominant academic climate into which this book is attempting to intervene is dominated by a dismissal of political idealism. Shouting down utopia is an easy move” (10).

“That is to say that queerness is always in the horizon. I contend that if queerness is to have any value whatsoever, it must be viewed as being visible only in the horizon” (11).