A 10th anniversary edition of this field defining work—an intellectual inspiration for a generation of LGBTQ scholars
The LGBT agenda for too long has been dominated by pragmatic issues like same-sex marriage and gays in the military. It has been stifled by this myopic focus on the present, which is short-sighted and assimilationist. Cruising Utopia seeks to break the present stagnancy by cruising ahead. Drawing on the work of Ernst Bloch, José Esteban Muñoz recalls the queer past for guidance in presaging its future. He considers the work of seminal artists and writers such as Andy Warhol, LeRoi Jones, Frank O'Hara, Ray Johnson, Fred Herko, Samuel Delany, and Elizabeth Bishop, alongside contemporary performance and visual artists like Dynasty Handbag, My Barbarian, Luke Dowd, Tony Just, and Kevin McCarty in order to decipher the anticipatory illumination of art and its uncanny ability to open windows to the future. In a startling repudiation of what the LGBT movement has held dear, Muñoz contends that queerness is instead a futurity bound phenomenon, a "not yet here" that critically engages pragmatic presentism. Part manifesto, part love-letter to the past and the future, Cruising Utopia argues that the here and now are not enough and issues an urgent call for the revivification of the queer political imagination.
On the anniversary of its original publication, this edition includes two essays that extend and expand the project of Cruising Utopia, as well as a new foreword by the current editors of Sexual Cultures, the book series he co-founded with Ann Pellegrini 20 years ago. This 10th anniversary edition celebrates the lasting impact that Cruising Utopia has had on the decade of queer of color critique that followed and introduces a new generation of readers to a future not yet here.
Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity
NYU Press 2019. New paperback; 280 pages