Queer theory has often been hesitant to align itself with a politics of the state, approaching it with a negative or pragmatic framework. A Queer Theory of the State expands an earlier online essay from The Point by historian Samuel Huneke to offer a more optimistic perspective. Rather than eschew political engagement with democratic theorizing, Huneke asks how queer theory can wed its critically anti-normative impulses to the empirical need for a state. In answering this question, Huneke shows how the state is an integral component of a politics that seeks to subvert and undo the oppression of queer lives.
About the Author
Samuel Clowes Huneke is assistant professor of history at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. He received a PhD in Modern European History from Stanford University in 2019. His research focuses on the social and political history of twentieth-century Germany, in particular how everyday life intersects with and shapes relationships between citizens and states. His research interests include the history of gender and sexuality, legal history, and the history of democracy. His first book, States of Liberation: Gay Men between Dictatorship and Democracy in Cold War Germany (2022), won the Charles E. Smith Award for best book in European History from the European History Section of the Southern Historical Association. Huneke has written for Boston Review, Washington Post, The Point, and Los Angeles Review of Books.