Middleton: a queer heterotopology

Samantha Sperring
In Volume 4, Issue 1
Special Issue: Queer and There

Abstract

This paper critiques Foucault’s heterotopias – those counter-sites functioning as ‘effectively enacted utopia[s]’ – on the basis that it overlooks the active role of individuals in space formation, a relationship that provides heterotopic space with its utopic function. It argues for the recognition of those other ‘other’ spaces, such as the home, to be considered as literally heterotopic, where radical practices may go unregulated. A case study of Middleton, a long-standing queer share house in Sydney’s Inner West, expands on the work of Foucault to demonstrate, from a queer perspective, a more intentional, agency-driven interaction between individual and environment in the production of non-hegemonic counter-sites. Here, the home is revealed as a site where individuals engage in a radical politics of subversion to disrupt and rework normative understandings of space.

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