Encountering Absence: Queer Traces, Ghosts, and Performance Otherwise

Bell, Marcus. 2023. Encountering Absence: Queer Traces, Ghosts, and Performance Otherwise. In: Ella Haselswerdt; Sara H. Lindheim and Kirk Ormand, eds. The Routledge Handbook of Classics and Queer Theory. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 138-152. ISBN 9781032026794 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

How does queer performance at a distance have an effect on us, even if we were not there to see it when it happened? This chapter reconsiders the performative turn in Classics by working with contemporary queer performances of tragedy—by Trajal Harrell and Johanna Hedva—and contemporary queer theory: José Esteban Muñoz, Lauren Berlant, and Tavia Nyong’o. I wager that performances’ residues contain a vitality of feeling/affect that is, in and of itself, capable of inhabiting/haunting us in a way that is difficult to disentangle from participation in a “live” performance. Moreover, I wager that this residue contains the hopes those in the past had for another—more equitable, radical—future than the one we have arrived into.

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"This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in 'The Routledge Handbook of Classics and Queer Theory' on 29 September 2023, available online: https://www.routledge.com/The-Routledge-Handbook-of-Classics-and-Queer-Theory/Haselswerdt-Lindheim-Ormand/p/book/9781032026794. It is deposited under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way."


Queer Studies, Performance, Contemporary Performance Art, Dance, Queer Theory

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Theatre and Performance (TAP)


29 September 2023Published

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29 Aug 2023 08:50

Last Modified:

28 Nov 2023 01:23



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