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Kings as ’Queens’—Textual and Visual Homophobic Fabrications of Two Polish Kings : The Curious Cases of Bolesław the Generous and Henry I of Poland 

R. Kusek, W. Szymański

Kusek, R. and Szymański, W., « Kings as ’Queens’ - Textual and Visual Homophobic Fabrications of Two Polish Kings : The Curious Cases of Bolesław the Generous and Henry I of Poland ». Royal Studies Journal, 6(2), p. 127–147, 2019. 

Extrait de l’article

Over the last two centuries or so, “a desire for a different kind of past, for a history that is not straight,” famously formulated by Carolyn Dinshaw in her 1999 seminal study Getting Medieval, and later re-iterated in a well-known roundtable discussion titled “Theorizing Queer Temporalities” and published in GLQ : A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, has resulted in a major revaluation and re-interpretation of the past from the point of view of gay and lesbian, as well as queer studies. However, this complex process of reconstructing “queer history” is by no means a universal phenomenon. It has, in fact, been largely limited to Western liberal democracies and, consequently, to Western (homo- /queer-philic) historiography. Polish historiography, which might well be seen as representative of Central and Eastern European historical writing in general, remains a prime example of the absence of “a queer historical impulse,” which Carolyn Dinshaw defines as “an impulse towards making connections across time between, on the one hand, lives, texts, and other cultural phenomena left out of sexual categories back then and, on the other hand, those left out of current sexual categories now.”6 In truth, one can argue that a “queer impulse” in Polish historical writing has been made impossible by the essentially homophobic historiographical politics of non-heteronormative sexualities ; the kind which repeatedly and unrelentingly denies non-heteronormative historical figures any private life and instead relocates them into the closet, this “defining structure of gay oppression.” The process of homophobic closeting, whose basic axioms were exhaustively addressed by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick in her influential 1990 study entitled Epistemology of the Closet, appears to be particularly pervasive in all forms and genres of Polish historical writing.

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