Queer Studies in Media & Popular Culture 2.1 - out now!

Intellect is delighted to announce that the new issue of Queer Studies in Media & Popular Culture (2.1) is now available. This special edition of QSMPC focusses upon queer nostalgia and queer histories.


For more information about this issue please click here or email


Articles within this issue (partial list):


A fantastic fabrication of Weimar Berlin: Queer nostalgia, timeless memories and surreal spatiality in the film Bent

Authors: Gilad Padva

Page Start: 167


The extravagant opening sequence of the film Bent directed by Sean Mathias (1997) fabricates a promiscuous gay venue in the mythic 1930s Weimar Berlin. While Greta’s club is completely fictional, the megastar Mick Jagger’s drag show in this sequence queerly transcends spatiality and temporality. Greta/Jagger not only anticipates the persecution and annihilation of gay men in Nazi Germany but also elegizes modern queer subcultures and their often destructive self-indulgence. This sequence is a flamboyant return to the pastness of queer past that aesthetically represents a radically different queer contemporariness. The screening of queer nostalgia in this decadent opening sequence creates an allegorical space, a psychedelic modern Babylon or a sort of uncanny ‘thirdspace’, a physical and mental space at the same time. The fantastic venue is interrelated with displacement of cultural production, reinvention of collective memory, queer melancholy and, particularly, camp performativity and a new vision of nostalgia as drag show.


Of love and longing: Queer nostalgia in Carol

Authors: Allain Daigle

Page Start: 199


This article discusses nostalgia and sensation in Carol (Haynes, 2015), a contemporary melodrama about a lesbian romance in the 1950s. While Carol returns its romance to a closeted past, it presents a nostalgic view of queer desire that is neither wistful nor tragic. Drawing on Tamara de Szegheo Lang’s theory of critical nostalgia and Elizabeth Freeman’s theory of longing, this article argues that Carol’s nostalgic form, particularly its use of framing, texture and colour, unsettles linear experiences of time associated with looking at the past. Carol’s conspicuous formalism intertwines the phenomena and immediacy of temporal experience with the multiple experiences of historical desire, and the film’s aesthetics productively complicate its compliance with a larger narrative of linear progress. The interaction of framing, texture and colour in Carol engage ways of seeing that are critically full, rather than indulgently melancholic, of female desire in the 1950s.


Blending in and standing out: Storytelling and genre in the LGBT biopics Milk and Pedro

Authors: Jonathan Lupo

Page Start: 227


This article considers the deployment of self-reflexive storytelling strategies by the titular protagonists in the LGBT biopics Milk (Van Sant, 2008) and Pedro (Oceano, 2008). Written by Dustin Lance Black, both films utilize the formal and narrative conventions as well as the historiographic features of the biopic genre to legitimize its subjects in contemporary culture. Furthermore, Harvey Milk and Pedro Zamora foreground the practice and political utility of storytelling as they assert control over their tragic yet ultimately hopeful legacies. Through a textual analysis of the films, the article examines how the films intersect with the LGBT biopic as a subgenre of the contemporary biographical film and as popular queer history.

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