Queer and Lesbian Feminism in Greece Politics, Identities, Subjectivities

Manesi, Dionysia (Diana). 2021. Queer and Lesbian Feminism in Greece Politics, Identities, Subjectivities. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This thesis explores and critically reflects upon same-sex subjectivities, political discourses and collective forms of belonging developed between activist lesbians inAthens during 2013-2015. I argue that sexual subjectivity emerges out of the constant negotiation of normative hetero-gendered rules rather than the transgression of gender norms. I suggest that the temporality of the Greek lesbian feminist/ LGBT/ queer movement is marked by a time of coincidence in which the Greek crisis, different phases from the western history of the LGBT movement and local feminist histories collapse and produce ambiguities, tensions and potentialities. In particular, I argue that the emergent queer feminist movement goes hand in hand with haunting and displaced notions of the self. As contemporary vagabonds, lesvies and queer feminists embody the haunted subject of the crisis before the actual crisis, she is not taken by surprise and continues crafting space for herself as usual. I demonstrate that the emergence and building of queer feminist communities in juxtaposition to women’s narratives of same-sex sexuality bring to the fore classed distinctions, generational discrepancies and ambivalent notions of belonging. I critique the notion of queer as straightforward transgression and suggest that it functions as an empty signifier which produces discursive ambiguities. Finally, I probe the interrelation between gender and sexual difference in producing sexual subjectivities.

Chapter 1 and 2 introduce the framework, both methodological and ethnographic, for the study of same-sex sexuality in Greece. In Part A I focus on temporalities, identities and community-building. In particular, in chapter 3 and 4 I present local LGBT and lesbian feminist histories and politics to demonstrate the notion of the haunting queer subject that temporally and spatially disrupts historical linearity, spatial arrangements, and crisis- informed narratives. Chapter 5 looks at the particularities of queer feminist community-building and its complexities to suggest the blurring between the individual and the collective, inner/outer worlds. From women’s collective efforts to build spaces and histories I move onto Part B to the makings of lesvia subjectivity. In particular, Chapter 6 explores sexual subjectivities in generational time, Chapter 7 and 8 considers the interrelationship between gender and sexuality whilst Chapter 9 explores the classed underpinnings of lesvia and queer sociality.

My analysis of collective and individual aspects of women’s same-sex life demonstrates that transgressing is not the canon ofqueerness and that gender norms also formulate the way women talk and live theirsame-sex sexuality. At the same time, lesvies and queer feminists bring to the fore the differential distribution of precarity in crisis- ridden Greece which presupposes subjects who are familiar with individual and collective states of unbelonging. These subjects are constantly on the move, they are used to feel strangers at home, and to craft worlds out of scratch. Strategies which ensure the management of unbelonging- both individually and collectively- are continually developed on an everyday basis, and formulate lesvia and queer ways of life in Athens.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

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queer anthropology; LGBT and Greece; queer social movements

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31 January 2021

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Date Deposited:

23 Jun 2021 14:21

Last Modified:

31 Jan 2024 02:26



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