Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Lee Edelman’s 2004 book No Future, Queer Theory and the Death Drive was a groundbreaking work of queer theory that contributed to discussions regarding the role of the queer and the social. In No Future, Edelman introduced reproductive futurism, the belief that participation in politics is informed by a desire to create a better world for our children, and the sinthomosexual, a completely negative force insisting on the unthinkable enjoyment of the death drive. My project aims to build upon Edelman’s work by theorizing how female sinthomosexuals impact Edelman’s original construction of the sinthomosexual, something Edelman does not do in No Future. My project is interested in investigating what happens when we imagine Edelman’s sinthomosexual as a female character. This introduction of female sinthomosexuals complicates Edelman’s original construction of the sinthomosexual in several important ways. In this project, I intended to use the female sinthomosexual to delve into the theory underpinning Edelman’s construction of reproductive futurism and the sinthomosexual itself. My theoretical intervention to Edelman’s text is relevant in the ways that it expands upon Edelman’s original project.
In this project, I point to female characters that mimic Edelman’s original construction of the sinthomosexual. These female sinthomosexual characters complicate Edelman’s original sinthomosexual by calling attention to the way that Edelman grafts the individual nature of the sinthome and subject relationship onto his communal role of the sinthomosexual. Also, analyzing female sinthomosexual activity necessitates a discussion of how female subjecthood in patriarchal society impacts opportunity for sinthomosexual action. I also analyze how different conceptions of the death drive interact with relationality to inform sinthomosexual activity. Finally, the female sinthomosexuals that I describe necessitate a discussion of the ways that reproductive futurism is impacted by anti-hegemonic desire and the way that this desire relates to the death drive. This analysis of the relationship between sinthomosexuality, reproductive futurism, and female sinthomosexuals continues Edelman’s original project in No Future, Queer Theory, and the Death Drive.
Number of Pages
Lemker, Reid A., "“The Side of Those Not Fighting for The Children”: Reproductive Futurism and The Female Sinthomosexual." (2022). Graduate College Dissertations and Theses. 1561.
Available for download on Friday, April 28, 2023