Queer in Europe takes stock of the intellectual and social status and treatment of queer in the New Europe of the twenty-first century, addressing the ways in which the Anglo-American term and concept 'queer' is adapted in different national contexts, where it takes on subtly different overtones, determined by local political specificities and intellectual traditions. Bringing together contributions by carefully chosen experts, this book explores key aspects of queer in a range of European national contexts, namely: Belgium, Cyprus, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, The Nordic Region, The Netherlands, Poland, Russia and Spain. Rather than prescribing a universalizing definition, the book engages with a wide spectrum of what is meant by 'queer', as each chapter negotiates the contested border between direct queer activist action based on identity categories, and more plural queer strategies that call these categories into question. The first volume in English devoted to the exploration of queer in Europe, this book makes an important intervention in contemporary queer studies.
'Given how queer theory has been haunted by a troubling lack of specificity inherent in its central term, this volume comes as welcome relief. By focusing on concrete case studies and gathering a range of local stories, Queer in Europe does justice to the conceptual and geographical heterogeneity of the category queer.' Tim Dean, SUNY-Buffalo, USA 'This excellent book is a timely reminder that ’queer’ goes far beyond the debates between activists and academics in English-speaking countries. Differing cultural, social and political circumstances have brought forth a huge number of vibrant, productive and contentious takes on queerness across "Europe" which in itself is a concept impossible to reduce to a single definition.' Michael Gratzke, University of St Andrews, UK '... give[s] a much clearer picture of modern European Queer citizenship, activist movements, and issues as they have been affected by the historical influences of communism and capitalism... 'Queer in Europe' centers each chapter on one country and is less concerned with trying to locate a homogenous state of Queer activism on the European continent...' M/C Reviews 'It is an important intervention into current queer studies agenda by engaging and exploring the very status and notion of ’queerness’. By asking what is its meaning outside the originating cultural context of the United States, the book poses questions about the ontology of queer politics, and asks for the epistemological underpinning of queer studies... Downing and Gillett have done a praise-worthy job of collecting a vast range of European examples, and reading about them will be rewarding to anyone interested in the queer/sexuality studies. The book’s greatest strength and appeal is its richness and diverse a panorama of cases that sometimes may seem almost too hard to harness together. We are offered not only a range of country examples but also various ways of theorising/writing about them...' Psychology and Sexuality