Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

Women's and Gender Studies

First Advisor

Ashley Glassburn Falzetti

Second Advisor

Suzanne Gray

Third Advisor

Peter Higgins


For Lee Edelman. queen' lack of future is a, extension or the dominant social narrative that, thanks to reproductive futurism, reduces queerness to same-sex object-choice. That narrative renders queers strictly non-reproductive and children only accomplishable through the consummation of heterosexual pairings. Since queers cannot contribute life to the future in the form of children, queerness and queer life become aligned instead with death. This is a complex narrative that figures children as the stuff the future is made of and queer as a threat to both children and the symbolic Child. The stakes of this language is high because such biopolical social narratives circularly facilitate queers' actual, premature deaths. The quality of queer lives are shaped by how queer futures are collectivity imagined so it takes a collective re imagination to ensure queer survival. Children represent only one material contribution to the future and queer survival may hinge on the concession of non-material queer contributions futurity. In social contributions to the future, I call on two literary figures, Moll Cutpurse, antihero of Thomas Dekker and Thomas Middleton’s The Roaring Girl (1611) and Jess Goldberg, protagonist of Leslie Feinberg’s Stone Butch Blues (1993). As Moll and Jess deviate from social norms they also reshape what constitutes deviation making room for queerness to manifest in new more visible, and more identitarian ways in the future. The ways they stretch possibilities for embodiment and desire represent the non-biological ways queers reproduce, thereby building queer futures.

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