Queer Theory
The French Response
Bruno Perreau



In the winter of 2012–13, hundreds of thousands of people marched in the streets of Paris to protest the legal extension of marriage and adoption to same-sex couples. The scope of the demonstrations surprised foreign observers: How could France, perceived as extremely liberal in regard to sexual mores, display such hostility to the rights of gays and lesbians?1

Public demonstrations by reactionary groups are not unusual in European democracies, and France is no exception. It witnessed mass marches when the legislature debated bills on abortion (1975), state supervision of Catholic schools (1984), and civil unions (1999). The media response to the demonstrations against gay marriage was nevertheless unparalleled; the socialist government even backtracked on several occasions, ultimately withdrawing measures related to equality at school and the legal status of stepparents in order to “appease” the demonstrators. Despite passage of the so-called marriage for all law—the Taubira Act (named after French minister of justice Christiane Taubira, who sponsored the bill)—demonstrations against gay marriage continue to be organized even today on a regular basis in Paris and other large cities in France.2

On the other side of the Atlantic, one key aspect of the anti-gay-marriage movement in France went almost unnoticed. The demonstrators were not merely denouncing the potentially damaging effect of the law on marriage; they were also claiming that its origin was to be found in “gender theory,” an ideology imported from America. By gender theory they mean queer theory in general and, more specifically, the work of philosopher Judith Butler, whose publications were translated into French throughout the first decade of the new millennium. French opponents of gay marriage, supported by the Vatican, are now attacking school curricula that explore male/female equality, which they claim is further proof of the growing empire of gender theory. They see it as queer propaganda that will not only pervert young people but also destroy the French nation itself. Whether through marriage, parenthood, or school, they dread the possibility that lesbians and gay men may find a way to literally reproduce themselves.

This book discusses various facets of the French response to queer theory, from the mobilization of activists and the seminars of scholars to the emergence of queer media and the decision to translate this or that kind of work. It sheds new light on recent events around gay marriage—perceiving queer theory as a threat to France means overlooking the fact that queer theory itself has been largely inspired by French writers and thinkers. To a certain extent, the book examines the return of French theory to France from the perspective of queer theory and the polemics over marriage and kinship, thereby exploring how France conceptualizes America. By examining mutual influences across the Atlantic, my work analyzes changes in the idea of national identity in France and the United States, offering insight into recent attempts to theorize the notion of “community.”

I demonstrate that the French notion of an American invasion is a fantasy expressing the fear of the propagation of homosexuality.3 This fear has two interlinked dimensions, which might be described as vertical and horizontal: the first concerns an obsession with passing homosexuality on to children; the second, a refusal to conceptualize “the community” through a critical reexamination of the identities generated by sexual minorities. From this standpoint, gay marriage ushered in a new legal era but did not alter the immunological impetus behind the way French national identity has been forged. The national body remains defined by its effort to “immunize” itself against minority cultures, in particular homosexuals. Rejecting both cosmopolitanism and culturalism, I offer a theory of minority politics that considers an ongoing critique of norms as the foundation of citizenship, in which a feeling of belonging arises from regular reexamination of it.

Gay Marriage in France: A Question of Gender

After the Assemblée Nationale passed the Taubira Act on April 23, 2013, the act was examined by the Conseil Constitutionnel, which judged the new law to be in keeping with the French constitution.4 It was thus proclaimed law by the president of the French Republic on May 17, 2013. Just two days later, the press announced the celebration of the “first” gay marriage in France.5 It was not, however, the first gay wedding. On June 5, 2004, the green-party mayor of Bègles, Noël Mamère, officiated over the marriage of two men. This wedding arose from a petition launched by sociologists Didier Eribon and Françoise Gaspard, lawyer Caroline Mécary, and legal scholar Daniel Borrillo subsequent to a session of the seminar “The Sociology of Homosexualities” run by Eribon and Gaspard at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) and led by Borrillo. In a context marked by San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom’s performance of gay weddings and by a violent homophobic assault in northern France (where a man was seriously burned by his attackers), this petition, dubbed “A Manifesto for Equal Rights,” called on mayors in France to react by performing gay marriages. Published in Le Monde on March 17, 2004, the manifesto garnered the support of many intellectuals and artists, including Jacques Derrida, Paul Veyne, and Jane Birkin, as well as politicians such as Mamère. It was therefore logical that Mamère would perform a marriage when two men presented themselves at his town hall. The conservative government’s minister of the interior, Dominique de Villepin, suspended Mamère from his mayoral office for one month. As the case made its way through the courts, the marriage was annulled by the Tribunal de Grande Instance (county court) in Bordeaux on July 24, 2004, a ruling upheld by the Cour d’Appel on April 19, 2005, and confirmed by the highest appellate court, the Cour de Cassation, on March 13, 2007. The courts held that only a man and a woman could contract a marriage. Since the appeal process had the effect of suspending the initial ruling, the marriage performed in Bègles remained valid for nearly a year. The Socialist Party criticized Mamère’s initiative because of the need to respect existing law, but for the first time the party committed itself to a policy of extending marriage to same-sex couples, at a time when other socialist parties in Europe (for example, those in Belgium and Spain) were preparing to reform—or already had reformed—marriage laws.6 The position adopted by the Socialist Party’s steering committee on May 11, 2004, nevertheless consigned the issue of homosexual parenthood to later debate, repeating the party’s highly cautious approach to this issue during the earlier debate on civil unions.7

Public debate on marriage, previously focused on sexual orientation, swiftly extended to the additional dimension of gender. In 2005, Camille Barré and Monica Leon, two transsexual women (male to female), only one of whom had had her legal status altered, went to their local mayor to be married. Since the decision of the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Bordeaux had stipulated that marriage was open only to couples composed of a legally recognized male and female, Barré and Leon believed they were within their rights. Their local mayor, the conservative politician Patrick Ollier, nevertheless refused to publish the banns, thereby preventing the marriage from taking place. The couple appealed this decision, but the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Nanterre found that Barré and Leon were outside the law because they wished to marry “as women.” The district attorney, Bernard Pagès, even argued that “their main goal was not really marriage in the usual sense, because it was alien to the goal of behaving like husband and wife.”8 This decision was confirmed by an appellate court in Versailles, which on July 8, 2005, held that Barré and Leon were trying to twist the law purely for “activist” reasons and the law should not yield to this type of suit.9 The affair revealed the extent to which, in France, the issue of marriage immediately became cast in terms of gender (“as women,” “behaving like”). If, several years later, opponents of gay marriage accused gender theory of being the origin of the Taubira Act, they were themselves just echoing a gendered view of marriage already part of public debate.

The incident of the marriage performed in Bègles, like the decision handed down by the county court in Nanterre, revealed that equal rights between homosexuals and heterosexuals were advancing at a snail’s pace in France. Legal recognition of lesbians and gays through the Taubira Act both maintained and created new inequalities between married heterosexual and married homosexual couples. For example, there is no automatic presumption of a parental tie within married homosexual couples, requiring that a spouse’s biological child must be adopted. When that biological child is the product of medically assisted procreation (MAP) effected abroad, some French courts have refused to grant adoption, arguing that a 1994 law on bioethics has been violated.10 (The law made MAP legal in France only for heterosexual couples with medically proven cases of infertility.) The nation’s highest appeals court had to intervene, declaring that MAP conducted outside French borders should not be an obstacle to adoption.11 It nevertheless remains the case that should the biological parent die before adoption is granted, the child becomes an orphan, a situation that does not arise within a heterosexual couple.

Another ruling by the Cour de Cassation struck down an order preventing a Moroccan national residing in France from marrying his partner, a French citizen.12 France had signed bilateral conventions with eleven countries stipulating that marriage laws in the country of origin would apply to respective foreign nationals living in France (from Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Slovenia, Poland, Laos, or Cambodia).13 A ministerial directive dated May 29, 2013, stated that application of the Taubira Act would confirm those conventions, thereby outlawing marriages between certain binational homosexual couples. In its ruling, however, the Cour de Cassation pointed out that the convention signed by France and Morocco on August 10, 1981, included a reserve clause stating that the convention would not apply if the legal dispositions of one state threatened public order in the other. In this instance, the judges decided that implementation of the Taubira Act would be seriously affected by application of the Franco-Moroccan agreement; they therefore struck down the restrictive interpretation of homosexual marriage that the French administration had issued in its directive of May 2013. The judges nevertheless set two conditions on the application of their ruling: the foreign nationals in question had to be residents of France; and their home country, if not recognizing homosexual marriage, must not have a law explicitly prohibiting it.

In addition to marriage-related inequality, other types of discrimination could have been eliminated through reform but were maintained in the new law: prohibiting MAP for single women and lesbian couples, outlawing surrogate pregnancies (which more particularly affect gays), and medicalizing a change in the legal status of transsexual individuals. Thanks only to a legislative amendment passed on July 12, 2016, has change of biological sex ceased to be a precondition for a change of legal status. Change of gender marker must nevertheless be pronounced by a judge on the basis of sufficient evidence. Placing marriage on the political agenda therefore shut down what jurisprudence was having difficulty containing, the linkage of sex and gender produced by the institution of marriage.14 Interestingly, the preamble to the bill on “marriage for all” argued for the extension of marriage to homosexual couples in the name of a historic process and to match more advanced legislation in other countries, yet it made no mention of the principles of equality, liberty, and dignity.15 The marriage-for-all law did not therefore constitute a complete success for sexual minorities but was a kind of concession to their struggle, just as civil unions had been in the past, legalized by the legislature only after many years of lobbying by organizations that defended homosexuals and spearheaded the fight against AIDS.

From this standpoint, France has experienced no clear “before-and-after” watershed with regard to gay marriage. The study I am undertaking therefore involves a critical analysis of the history of the present, too often understood solely from its legal aspect. The temporal perspective is in fact itself the object of major normative conflicts—whereas opponents to marriage for all see the reform as a dangerous departure, proponents of equal rights view it as part of an ongoing process. The more conservative liberals, meanwhile, hope that the new law will satisfy gay and lesbian demands once and for all. Conceptually grasping this temporal perspective, and thereby transcending the mythology of victorious struggle, can thus have political significance. Such a critique strikes me as all the more important insofar as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) cultures themselves exist in a queer time.16 The law, of course, provides an analytical structure: it has recognized and provided security to many gay and lesbian families with respect to their names, financial estates, health, and so on. Its impact is therefore real and significant. The relationship of LGBT individuals to the law has itself changed, especially in terms of their more frequent recourse to jurisprudence. Yet has there been any profound change in the modes of thought that shape sexuality and citizenship? I argue that, despite legal reforms, the “straight mind”—that is, a mode of thought based on a reification of the difference between the sexes17—continues to function as a political totem in France and that the majority conceptualization of citizenship is as operative today as it was prior to marriage for all. Preventing any change to that conceptualization caused opponents of the law to pour into the streets—and they continue to do so. Ultimately, performing homosexual marriages is not the key issue behind their struggle. Even the staunchest opponents have never tried to disrupt a wedding ceremony. Their activism targets above all the idea of marriage as a vector of meaning and moral values.

Since the student uprisings of May 1968, French conservatives have criticized the moral relativism of postmodern society. Contemporary society is purportedly undermined by its nihilism and rejection of tradition. Conservatism is not restricted to one political party but cuts across the political spectrum as well as social, professional, geographic, and other categories. In fact, it is the expression of commonplaces largely reflected in the French media where many commentators complain about how shallow the educational system is,18 how impolite young people are, and even how uncivil laughter can be.19 Sexuality is one of the mainsprings of this moral reaction, as also witnessed in October 2014 by the destruction of an artwork by Paul McCarthy by anti-gay-marriage activists: unable to bear the idea that the middle of Place Vendôme in Paris could host a work of art in the form of a green tree suggestive of a sex toy, they laid waste to the art and physically attacked the artist.20 While these activists thought they were invested with the role of saving a society corrupted by its leaders and subjected to influential minorities, their crusade also revealed a form of fascination with sexuality itself, a fascination more broadly typical of an attachment to order.21

It is therefore no coincidence that the legal recognition of homosexuality is the focus of numerous fantasies and moral tensions. Conservatives argue that heterosexuality and homosexuality are not morally equivalent behaviors, hence should not be considered as such by the law. Believing that their convictions have been aggrieved, conservatives now position themselves as the “underdog” and demand that their vision of the world be recognized in turn. In other words, they appropriate the idea of moral relativism to their own benefit even as they criticize it when applied to LGBT cultures. They see themselves as majority victims of a system henceforth devised to benefit minorities. Today they invoke neutrality of treatment toward all citizens in order to pitch their struggle as an equivalent of the struggle for LGBT rights. That sheds light on why it is so important to opponents of gay marriage to credit the idea that LGBT rights are the product of a “theory.” By proceeding in this way, they seek to legitimize their own doctrine. References to the United States become all the more potent, allowing them to think that there exists an organized effort to sabotage the foundations of French identity: criticism of gay marriage is strengthened by being bound to nearly two centuries of French fascination with, and wariness of, the United States.22

Queer Echoes

In looking back at the American shore, I adopt the notion of “fantasy echo” developed by historian Joan W. Scott to explore the construction of tradition. Scott shows that fantasies of the past help establish categories used in the present. By introducing the idea of echo, she argues that this relationship to transhistorical identity is illusory because it overlooks not only swings in meaning that categories can assume over time but also the complex, unstable mechanism of identification with those categories. Starting from Scott’s notion, I intend to show that transatlantic exchanges are the product of cultural fantasies whose effect, if not function, is to mask their original source. Thus, “French theory” becomes American when it returns home to France.23 This book strives to re-contextualize and repoliticize these mutual exchanges. What is being analyzed here is the transnational construction of the very idea of queer theory. By what mechanisms do highly disparate theses and methods become united into a single theoretical category? How does this operation occur, and who participates in it? When I use the term “queer theory,” I am referring to an intellectual approach with multifarious, variable meanings. The use of “theory” in the singular does not mean I adhere to the idea of a coherent corpus of theory; it would be particularly ironic to suggest that publications and research demonstrating the uncertainty inherent in any process of definition should be brought together under one label. The same comment applies to my use of “French theory.” Many French intellectuals became leading figures in critical philosophy in the United States in the 1970s and 1980s because they provided theoretical resistance to the neoliberal dogma then sweeping across academic America. These intellectuals, who deconstructed the social norms inscribed in language itself, soon became identified as the representatives of French theory; they included Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Hélène Cixous, Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Lacan, Julia Kristeva, and Jean Baudrillard. The label “French theory,” however, masks major differences between them (as well as differences in the quality of their work). The term “French theory” became so widespread because it generated a national identity: by lumping all writers of French nationality under one label, French theory enabled American academics to fuel critical analysis of American culture itself.

And it was precisely to interrogate analytical categories that Scott suggested conceiving fantasy and echo in the formation of cultural identities:

The term signifies the repetition of something imagined or an imagined repetition. In either case the repetition is not exact since an echo is an imperfect return of sound. Fantasy, as noun or adjective, refers to plays of the mind that are creative and not always rational. For thinking the problem of retrospective identification it may not matter which is the noun and which the adjective. Retrospective identifications, after all, are imagined repetitions and repetitions of imagined resemblances.24

Scott underscores the immanence of the making of identities—the fantasy echo is not an imaginative construct exterior to the individual; it is the very setting in which identity manufactures itself (through empathy, analogy, opposition, and so on). In other words, cultural fantasy invents a point of reference (here, American queer theory), clings to it, and by force of repeated telling, effaces the very traces of its making. This is the echo in the fantasy; like a sound diffracted many times, it becomes hard to pinpoint it with any accuracy. The original can no longer be distinguished from its many reverberations. Thus, when the category “queer” travels from one shore of the Atlantic to the other, it retains the same terms, but its meaning is literally distorted. It does not lose impact or fade but changes mode, like an accidental placed before a note on a musical score.25 The accidentals are what I am examining here. I bring to light the numerous modulations of queer theory, showing how sexuality, nation, and community are conceptually and politically interwoven. This modulating approach introduces a critical fluidity into the making of identities since it postulates that both identities and processes of identification can oscillate. It provides a further dimension to theories of intersectionality that have difficulty functioning without a fixed point of reference, without an “order of things.”

An Archaeology of Propagation

My work differs from two traditional approaches to transnational cultural analyses: comparative cultural sociology and theories of sovereignty. Although I do discuss the careers of individuals and institutions that have reacted to queer theory in France, above all I analyze the role of sexuality in official and unofficial narratives of identity. My approach is therefore indebted to anthropologist Mary Douglas’s analyses of the way institutions confer identity.26 Here I explore how invoking queer theory can facilitate the functioning of political routine. Thus, this book does not present a sociology of cultural repertoires but an archaeology of discourses.27 I favor a more heterodox approach that seeks to counter the marked academic impact of comparative sociology in the United States, in particular its overspecialization.28 Insofar as my archaeological approach considers discourse as the very site of power relationships, it is indebted to Foucault. Foucault thought that archaeology is a “play on words,”29 because it seeks to reveal not a structure (arche) but the conditions of the possibility of believing in that structure, in “discursive practices that serve as intermediaries between words and things.”30 Where genealogical analysis carries out a historical, surface-level investigation into the discontinuity of events, archaeological analysis interrogates discursive regularities. Anticommunitarian rhetoric in France, for example, is employed not only by activists in the anti-gay-marriage camp but also by left-wingers in the administration. The archaeological task entails resituating these discourses and deconstructing their mechanisms. It therefore also differs from theories of sovereignty, which address cultural exchanges based on an abstract definition of territorial authority. These theories tend to reinforce the idea that each country is exceptional in nature—which consequently seems to exclude analysis of hybrid cultural forms.31 They furthermore erect a border between “interior” and “exterior,” which the intersecting history of France and America challenges at every point.

France’s anxiety about becoming Americanized is not just a simple question of loss of sovereignty. The idea of foreign cultural invasion is a direct echo of the fantasy of an enemy within, one who will multiply uncontrollably. Thus, it is directly linked to the idea of the propagation of homosexuality, which functions on many layers of discourse: contamination (which combines mental pathology and physiological illness), corruption (the destruction of the natural order through pagan practices), loss of distinctions (androgyny and transsexuality), and conversion (enlistment in an activist movement not unlike a religious conversion). This book analyzes these various registers with their many connections, not overlooking their incompatibilities. I show that the fantasy of the contagiousness of homosexuality underpins France’s republican values even today, as it did throughout the twentieth century. Following the work of George Mosse, many historians have explored the connections between homosexuality and political regime.32 Florence Tamagne, for example, studied the rise of nationalism in Europe from the perspective of sex scandals during the interwar period.33 Shari Benstock has examined the liaisons dangereuses between certain lesbian salons on the Left Bank of Paris and far-right movements.34

I demonstrate that one of the mechanisms of the consolidation of the French nation is the fantasy of a homosexual secret society governed by its own rules, cultural references, and language, all of which make it possible to define—through negative contrast—the ideal citizen. The fear of homosexuality and its contagiousness, as expressed during marches against gay marriage, cannot therefore be limited to individual aversion—it is the product of a collective discourse that is now muted but still remains powerful. Despite major changes in French law since the decriminalization of homosexuality in 1982, there survives the idea that the lifestyles invented by gays and lesbians represent a danger for the republic because these lifestyles are seen as harder to control through normal governmental powers. Lesbians and gays, who during their lives develop multiple emotional ties (their original families, the peers among whom they acquire a different culture, their emotional and sexual networks), are perceived to destabilize the “good-citizen psychology,”35 on which the feeling of national belonging depends. My analysis of this fantasy of the propagation of homosexuality and disloyalty toward the country is the basis of my discussion of the reaction to queer theory and the issue of the sense of belonging.


1. Alexander Stille, “An Anti-Gay-Marriage Tea Party, French Style?,” New Yorker, March 18, 2014.

2. “Manif pour Tous: ‘Nous reviendrons!,’Libération, October 5, 2014.

3. The French term here, as elsewhere in the book, is transmission, which neatly functions both horizontally (as in the spread of a disease) and vertically (the passing down of a culture or heritage). For the sake of fluency and comprehension, the predominant English meaning (contagion, inheritance) has dictated choice of translation.

4. Conseil Constitutionnel, decision 2013-669, May 17, 2013, http://www.conseil-constitutionnel.fr/decision/2013/2013-669-dc/decision-n-2013-669-dc-du-17-mai-2013.137046.html.

5. “Le premier mariage homosexuel de France célébré à Montpellier,” Le Monde, May 29, 2013.

6. David Paternotte has documented the importance of communication and coordination among activists in Europe as the law becomes increasingly Europeanized. David Paternotte, Revendiquer le “mariage gay”: Belgique, France, Espagne (Brussels: Éditions de l’Université Libre de Bruxelles, 2011).

7. A French law passed on November 15, 1999, authorized both homosexual and heterosexual couples to enter into a civil union, known as a Pacte Civil de Solidarité (PACS).

8. “Mariage trans-travesti: le procureur s’oppose,” Le Nouvel Observateur, May 31, 2005.

9. On the elaboration of the legal sphere in connection with public debate, see Edward Schiappa, “Defining Marriage in California: An Analysis of Public and Technical Arguments,” Argumentation and Advocacy 48, no. 4 (2012): 216–30.

10. Tribunal de Grande Instance, Versailles, 13/00168, April 29, 2014.

11. Cour de Cassation, decisions (avis) G1470006 and J1470007, September 23, 2014, https://www.courdecassation.fr/jurisprudence_2/avis_15/integralite_avis_classes_annees_239/2014_6164/22_septembre_2014_1470006_6868/15011_22_30158.html and https://www.courdecassation.fr/IMG/Communique_avis_AMP_140923.pdf.

12. Cour de Cassation, decision (arrêt) 96, January 28, 2015, https://www.courdecassation.fr/jurisprudence_2/premiere_chambre_civile_568/96_28_30981.html.

13. See Malick W. Ghachem, “Accommodating Empire: Comparing French and American Paths to the Legalization of Gay Marriage,” Southern California Law Review 88, no. 3 (March 2015): 529–32.

14. The main arguments in favor of gay marriage also help cut off this question by focusing solely on recognition of homosexual love. Paisley Currah noted the same effect in the United States. Paisley Currah, “Queer Theory, Lesbian and Gay Rights, and Transsexual Marriages,” in Sexual Identities. Queer Politics, ed. Mark Blasius (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001), 192.

15. “Projet de loi ouvrant le mariage aux couples de personnes de même sexe,” Assemblée Nationale, November 7, 2012, http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/14/projets/pl0344.asp.

16. Jack Halberstam, In a Queer Time & Space: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives (New York: NYU Press, 2005).

17. Monique Wittig, The Straight Mind: And Other Essays (Boston: Beacon Press, 1992).

18. Michel Onfray, “Aujourd’hui à l’école, on apprend le tri des déchets ou la théorie du genre,” L’Express, November 12, 2014.

19. Alain Finkielkraut, “Le rire contemporain est une forme d’incivilité,” Du Fil à Retordre (blog), May 2, 2010, http://blog.lefigaro.fr/le-fol/2010/05/finkielkraut-le-rire-contemporain-est-une-forme-dincivilite.html.

20. “McCarthy agressé pour l’érection d’un arbre de Noël ambigu, place Vendôme,” Le Monde, October 17, 2014.

21. Jean Laplanche has shown how sexuality “makes sense” through the interrelationship between sensual experience and institutions. Jean Laplanche, La Sexualité humaine: biologisme et biologie (Paris: Les Empêcheurs de penser en rond, 1999), 83.

22. Denis Lacorne, Jacques Rupnik, and Marie-France Toinet, eds., The Rise and Fall of Anti-Americanism: A Century of French Perception (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1990).

23. Édouard Glissant evoked a similar idea when he referred to “world-echoes.” Édouard Glissant, Poetics of Relation, trans. Betsy Wing (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1997), 178.

24. Joan W. Scott, “Fantasy Echo: History and the Construction of Identity,” Critical Inquiry 27, no. 2 (2001): 287.

25. Bernard Sève, L’ Altération musicale (Paris: Seuil, 2002).

26. Mary Douglas, How Institutions Think (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1986): 55–67.

27. Michèle Lamont and Laurent Thévenot, eds., Rethinking Comparative Cultural Sociology: Repertoires of Evaluation in France and the United States (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000).

28. Etienne Ollion, “De la sociologie en Amérique: éléments pour une sociologie de la sociologie états-unienne contemporaine,” Sociologie 2, no. 3 (2011): 277–94.

29. Michel Foucault, “Birth of a World,” trans. John Johnston, in Foucault Live: Interviews 1961–84, ed. Sylvère Lotringer, trans. Lysa Hochroth and John Johnston (New York: Semiotext(e), 1996), 65.

30. Michel Foucault, “Michel Foucault explique son dernier livre,” in Dits et Écrits I, 1954–1975 (Paris: Gallimard, 2001), 804.

31. Peter H. Schuck and James Q. Wilson, eds., Understanding America: The Anatomy of an Exceptional Nation (New York: Public Affairs, 2009).

32. George L. Mosse, Nationalism and Sexuality: Respectability and Abnormal Sexuality in Modern Europe (New York: Howard Fertig, 1985).

33. Florence Tamagne, “Le ‘Crime du Palace’: homosexualité, médias et politique dans la France des années 30,” Revue d’Histoire Moderne et Contemporaine 53, no. 4 (December 2006): 128–49.

34. Shari Benstock, “Paris Lesbianism and the Politics of the Reaction, 1900–1940,” in Hidden from History: Reclaiming the Gay and Lesbian Past, ed. Martin Duberman, Martha Vicinius, and George Chauncey (New York: Meridian, 1989), 332–46.

35. Leo Bersani, Homos (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995), 120.