Volker Woltersdorff

Sexual Ghosts and the Whole of History

Queer Historiography, Post-Slavery Subjectivities, and Sadomasochism in Isaac Julien’s The Attendant
There is a complex historical dimension to desire. Desire can never be isolated from history, nor can history be isolated from desire. Yet for Fredric Jameson, who urges us to ‘always historicize’, desire is of little help when we want to historicize. A historiography that draws on the fascination with history is therefore always suspect of giving a false account of history in its totality. Could an entanglement of pleasure and pain be a way to come to terms with desire in historiography?
Keywords: The Attendant - Julien, Isaac; Affect; Historiography; Sado-masochism; Trauma; Re-enactments, historical; BDSM (sexual behavior); Slavery; Postcolonialism; Racism; Wholeness; Memorialization
Title
Sexual Ghosts and the Whole of History
Subtitle
Queer Historiography, Post-Slavery Subjectivities, and Sadomasochism in Isaac Julien’s The Attendant
Author(s)
Volker Woltersdorff
Identifier
DOI Target
Description
There is a complex historical dimension to desire. Desire can never be isolated from history, nor can history be isolated from desire. Yet for Fredric Jameson, who urges us to ‘always historicize’, desire is of little help when we want to historicize. A historiography that draws on the fascination with history is therefore always suspect of giving a false account of history in its totality. Could an entanglement of pleasure and pain be a way to come to terms with desire in historiography?
Is Part Of
Place
Vienna
Publisher
Turia + Kant
Date
2017
Subject
The Attendant - Julien, Isaac
Affect
Historiography
Sado-masochism
Trauma
Re-enactments, historical
BDSM (sexual behavior)
Slavery
Postcolonialism
Racism
Wholeness
Memorialization
Rights
© by the author(s)
This version is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Harvested
yes
Language
en-GB
short title
Sexual Ghosts
page start
31
page end
45
Source
De/Constituting Wholes: Towards Partiality Without Parts, ed. by Christoph F. E. Holzhey and Manuele Gragnolati, Cultural Inquiry, 11 (Vienna: Turia + Kant, 2017), pp. 31–45
Bibliographic Citation
Volker Woltersdorff, ‘Sexual Ghosts and the Whole of History: Queer Historiography, Post-Slavery Subjectivities, and Sadomasochism in Isaac Julien’s The Attendant’, in De/Constituting Wholes: Towards Partiality Without Parts, ed. by Christoph F. E. Holzhey and Manuele Gragnolati, Cultural Inquiry, 11 (Vienna: Turia + Kant, 2017), pp. 31–45 <https://doi.org/10.37050/ci-11_02>
Format
application/pdf

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Cite as: Volker Woltersdorff, ‘Sexual Ghosts and the Whole of History: Queer Historiography, Post-Slavery Subjectivities, and Sadomasochism in Isaac Julien’s The Attendant’, in De/Constituting Wholes: Towards Partiality Without Parts, ed. by Christoph F. E. Holzhey and Manuele Gragnolati, Cultural Inquiry, 11 (Vienna: Turia + Kant, 2017), pp. 31–45 <https://doi.org/10.37050/ci-11_02>