Queer breeds: Hybridity and futurity in Lillian Hellman, James Baldwin, and Gloria Anzaldua
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I argue that we should conceptualize queerness as a hybrid condition and queer theory as a theory of hybridity. Rather than understanding hybridity in spatial terms--as post-colonial theorists have arguably done--I emphasize the question of temporality. In theorizing hybridity and temporality, I draw from Henri Bergson's theory of duration and its rearticulation by Gilles Deleuze. When we consider queerness as a hybrid condition, we can understand why it has figured as a temporal aberration, for example in nineteenth-century discourses of sexology and racial sciences. While queerness has been phobically figured as an atavistic condition, the authors I deal with in this study find in queerness the promise and threat of an unknowable future. I further suggest that, even though his work has not generally been discussed in the field, queer theory's project can benefit from Deleuze's understanding of temporality. I also suggest that a Deleuzian approach is largely incompatible with the Butlerian paradigm of queer theory.