Queer Exuberance: Visceral Reading and the Politics of Positive Affect

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Affect Theory and Literary Criticism book series (PSATLC)


This chapter argues that Jeanette Winterson turns to affective reading to contest the codification of her writing in terms of sexual identity. As sexual identity becomes increasingly recruited into biopolitics, affect provides an alternative means of expressing possibilities for queer relationality that outstrip those offered by the mainstream LGBT movement. I trace Winterson’s “queer exuberance” in her essays on aesthetics in Art Objects and through her novels The Stone Gods, Written on the Body, and Art and Lies. Winterson’s embrace of positive affect challenges queer theory’s paradigm for defining political critique through negativity, and it reimagines the body politic as mutually and reciprocally exposed to affection.


Positive Affect Affective Relation Queer Theory Social Imagination Aesthetic Object 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State University of New York at CortlandCortlandUSA

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