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This introduction to the Critical Analysis of Law special issue on queer legal studies excavates three conjugal artifacts: an academic manuscript delineating interracial and same-sex marriages as loci of state surveillance and unfreedom; a TED Talk on same-sex marriage as irrefutably queer; and the United States Supreme Court decision holding same-sex marriage a constitutional right. These artifacts, along with their singular referent (state-sanctioned marriage), point to what is or should be critical about the interdiscipline of queer legal studies: theorization not only of the subjectification of subjects of gender and sexual regulation (spouses, singles, you and me), but also theorization of the subjectification of power (here, state power and state formation). What kind of state, and what kind of power, materialize through the governance of sex, intimacy, and coupledom? This methodological imperative complements and productively conflicts with the contributions of this issue, all of which turn their gaze away from the subjectification, domestication, or normalization of the usual, sexual minoritarian suspects, but only some of which explicitly articulate the state-making power of sex and gender.


Law | Sexuality and the Law