Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > Queer(ed) Bodies, Spaces, and Forms in Selected Works by Reinaldo Arenas, Mario Bellatin, and Isaac Chocrón

This dissertation examines queerness in major works by Arenas, Bellatin, and Chocrán as it may be applied to bodies, space, and forms which have traditionally been normatively controlled. Notions of the queer(ed) body, how it is coerced to perform by heteronormativity and how it challenges normative categorizations are central to queer studies, which will be used to analyze their texts. Queer bodies seek to revel in same-sex sexual relations and, thus, do not fit into heteronormativized sexual spaces. Because these bodies have learned to present non-standard gender performances, they can pervert the rules of gender and sexual-object choice performances in order to contest the spaces previously closed to them and, eventually, open up new, more accepting spaces for the queer(ed) body. This body occupies space similarly to how actors inhabit space on a stage. Like actors, queer(ed) bodies dwell in, perform themselves, and signify differently in a multitude of social spaces. However, Western society's historical space usually has excluded the possibility of queer(ed) bodies engaging in (re)presentational acts in it. Therefore, queer writings and commentaries seek to undermine heteronormative control over the presentation and interpretation of past events and, then, to re-imagine and rewrite them. All individuals performing their gender and sexualities exhibit basic rituals of life in the public sphere and thereby create forms (such as marriage and child-rearing rituals) by and through which members of any given society are able to conduct their lives. These gendered and sexual enactments performed by queer bodies serve to queer social forms. Because the queering of bodies, space, and forms amplifies possibilities and significations, "queer" has the potential to (re)invent cultural definitions and relationships among the individuals in modern, Western society, even beyond considerations of gender and sexuality.