Lesbian Representation and the Limits of “Visibility”

Part of the Schriftenreihe der Internationalen Frauenuniversität »Technik und Kultur« book series (SIFU, volume 6)


This essay traces movements in thinking about lesbian representation and lesbian embodiment by means of the rhetorical figure of “visibility” and its political possibilities and limitations. Sexuality has a relationship to the visual that is decidedly fraught and in which queer politics tries to interfere in a variety of ways (see Bell, 1999, p. 6). “Knowledge” about being lesbian is based to an astonishing degree on judgments about the stability or instability of the visual. Consequently, the lesbian/gay/bi/transgender movement can be described as an outstanding example of a politics of visuality within which the understanding and imputation of identity is based on a coupled system of knowledge and gaze.


Blind Spot Visual Evidence Femme Play Lesbian Identity Drag Queen 
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© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2002

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