PhD Oral Exam - Peter Dube, Humanities
When studying for a doctoral degree (PhD), candidates submit a thesis that provides a critical review of the current state of knowledge of the thesis subject as well as the student’s own contributions to the subject. The distinguishing criterion of doctoral graduate research is a significant and original contribution to knowledge.
Once accepted, the candidate presents the thesis orally. This oral exam is open to the public.
This dissertation examines an overlapping range of concerns, practices and ideas shared by surrealism and gay liberation and attempts to situate them in relation to each other in order to theorize a specifically “queer surrealist” nexus and identify its political and creative potential for the present day. In order to do so it identifies three particular loci of concern: the erotic, aesthesis as a perceptual mode, and the occult, and then examines the specific treatment and theoretical use the two movements made of these in order to identify generative possibilities for their synthesis. Building on this analytical work, the dissertation then proposes a model of a Queer Surrealism as a deliberate cultivation of subjectivity rooted in praxis and positioned against a perpetually deferred and utopian horizon that consequently requires constant rearticulation/reimagining. It further offers a research-creation component (a collection of prose poems) that attempts to actively engage and embody these ideas as a complement to the critical or theoretical exploration.