Kinship and gender in eighteenth-century French literature
By Tracy Rutler
Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment 2021:11
Queering the Enlightenment analyzes French literature from the 1730s and 40s to illuminate the potential of queer forms of kinship to dismantle the patriarchy and to help us imagine what might take its place. Through studies of Prévost, Graffigny, Marivaux, and Crébillon, Tracy Rutler uncovers a current of resistance to the rise of the heteronormative family in 18th-century France.
- Queering the Enlightenment is among the first projects to analyze how the heteronormative bourgeois family’s rise to dominance in 18th-century France is contested within early modern fiction.
- The first book to uncover the political potential of queering the family in the literature of 18th-century France.
- This book offers exciting new perspectives on crucial eighteenth-century texts by bringing together queer studies and political theory.
"In many ways Powers’ project, that of both re-imagining what kinship can be, and of exploring what these different forms of intimate communities can do, is also the project of Queering the Enlightenment. While firmly grounded in human interaction, my book establishes a strong link between kinship, knowledge production, and political critique in eighteenth-century France, arguing that one valid method of critique of the French monarchy was stories about queer intimate communities. "
(Read the author’s accompanying blog post)
Tracy Rutler is Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality studies at Pennsylvania State University. She is the co-creator of the Legacies of the Enlightenment project, and author of numerous articles on 18th-century French literature and theory. She specializes in queer theory, psychoanalysis, and disability studies.
The Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment series, previously known as SVEC (Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century), has published over 500 peer-reviewed scholarly volumes since 1955 as part of the Voltaire Foundation at the University of Oxford. International in focus, Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment volumes cover wide-ranging aspects of the eighteenth century and the Enlightenment, from gender studies to political theory, and from economics to visual arts and music, and are published in English or French.