what has queer theory become now that it has a
past? What, if anything, does it not include within its pur-
view? Does ‘‘sexuality’’ comprise its inside? If so, then
does queer theory have an outside? Bringing together the
work of both younger and more established scholars, pri-
marily in the field of literary studies, After Sex? On Writing
since Queer Theory explores these and related questions by
asking its contributors to reflect on, among other things,
what in their work isn’t queer.∞
We didn’t know what to expect when, in the earliest
stages of this project, we posed these questions to potential
contributors. Though we couldn’t predict what they’d
make of it, we had a variety of reasons for asking them in
these terms. In the first place, we’d been hearing from some
quarters that queer theory, if not already passé, was rapidly
approaching its expiration date, and we wanted to learn
from others whether or how this rumor might be true.≤ We
knew, of course, that the activist energies that helped to
fuel queer academic work in the United States had declined
sharply since the early 1990s, when the books that would
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