On this page, you'll find some sources for the academic field called "queer theory." As you'll see in the sources listed below, the field took shape in the early 1990's (heavily influenced by the AIDS crisis and groups such as ACT UP). Queer theory was massively influential throughout the 1990s and has continued to evolve today, in an effort to respond to our rapidly changing contemporary academic and cultural climate.
Pictured: Michael Warner, author of Fear of a Queer Planet (1993) and The Trouble with Normal (1999). Both are seminal texts in queer theory as is Warner's recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education. In "Queer and Then?", Warner usefully summarizes this complicated field:
"When Teresa de Lauretis and her colleagues at the University of California at Santa Cruz organized a conference called “Queer Theory” in 1990, it was manifestly provocative. The term “queer” in those days was not yet a cable-TV synonym for gay; it carried a high-voltage charge of insult and stigma. The term caught on because it seemed to catalyze many of the key insights of previous years and connect them to a range of politics and constituencies that were already developing outside academe, in a way that looked unpredictable from the start."