By Elizabeth Freeman
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Extra info for Time Binds: Queer Temporalities, Queer Histories
Kristeva claims that Woman, as a cultural symbol, comes to be correlated with the endless returns of cyclical time, as well as the stasis of monumental time: the ﬁgure of Woman supplements the historically speciﬁc nation-state with appeals to nature and eternity. ∞∏ In the wake of industrialization in the United States, she writes, mourning was newly reconceptualized as an experience outside of ordinary time, as eternal, recurrent, even sacred—and so, I would argue, were any number of other a√ective modes.
But even Butler’s revision of Freud via the lesbian phallus only suggests that the primary tumescence from which the ego emerges might be productively relocated onto arms, hipbones, and other sites as a way of theorizing a lesbian ego; it doesn’t challenge the phallicizing con12 introduction struction of ‘‘sensation’’ itself. Where goes that interestingly aching hole, symptom of a certain desire to be ﬁlled up by—let us risk—a vulgar referent? ’s simultaneously mourning and lusting spectator, who seems to want to have sex with history—with dead men, with men older than he, with an era and place barred by both linear time and racial politics.
But by invoking both the country singer Loretta Lynn’s hit ‘‘Coal Miner’s Daughter’’ (1970) and the ﬁlm of the same name (1980), the title of Dougherty’s video suggests Jane’s complicated relationship to her family of origin. Ostensibly, it signals that her personal history includes a connection to not only extended family but also a collective form of labor and its representational history. In Popular Front, Depression-era portraits by Walker Evans, James Agee, and Dorothea Lange, for instance, coal miners’ families have typically registered the progress or regress of an industry and the culture surrounding it; similarly, the lyrics to Lynn’s song suggest that her memories of her home at Butcher Hollow preserve a lost way of life.