A Preface to Perversion: Foucault, Archives, Evidence
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This dissertation assembles four previously published articles on the subject of queer archives and evidence. Published over a period of almost thirty years, the articles reflect the author’s changing approach to archival evidence, changes related to his shifting response to queer politics and theory over this same period. The introduction situates the articles within the author’s ongoing work on the history of perversion as well as on queer relationality and temporality. It adopts Foucault and his ideas on the “insurrection of subjugated knowledge” to conceptualize archives and evidence as material and embodied; as non-identitarian; and as activist-oriented in order to critically intervene in state practices of liberal governance. The conclusion places the thesis in the context of the ‘new queer archive studies.’ It offers a critique of the over-aestheticizing and depoliticizing of archives and evidence within recent queer theory and assesses the prospects for the continued insurrection of archival evidence.