Specialization: sexuality studies, popular culture, and identity in twentieth-century US literature
Chase Gregory writes and teaches about sexuality studies, popular culture, and identity in twentieth-century US literature. She holds a PhD in Literature and a Certificate in Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and a BA in English and American Studies from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. Her current book project, As/if: US Literary Criticism and Identity, examines modes of feminist and queer academic criticism that highlight the difficulty of critical cross-identification across difference. In it, Dr. Gregory argues that the moment in which queer theory emerges in the academy—a moment overshadowed by the specter of AIDS—produced a new mode of criticism, one that makes space for more ambiguous ways of critical reading and writing. Dr. Gregory’s scholarship remains inspired by queer and feminist criticism’s persistent drive to create bonds across difference, despite the difficulty or even impossibility of such an endeavor. She understands negativity as not opposed to sociality, but rather built into it: the language on which our identifications and relationships are founded is ambiguous, fluid, and loaded with connotation. Her research and teaching is motivated by theories of language and sexuality that insist on irresolvable differences, gaps of understanding, or compulsive self-destruction. This interest in the negativity at the heart of sociality has led Dr. Gregory towards a number of different objects in her published work. Her latest publication, “Critics on Critics: Queer Bonds” (GLQ 25:1), explores queer sociality in the academy. She has published two other articles, one on Monique Wittig’s lesbian science fiction novel Les Guérilléres for Feminist Spaces (2016), and one on queer theory’s anti-social thesis and comics for Comics Studies Journal (2012). An upcoming article, to be published in the next issue of d i f f e r e n c e s, reads Alison Bechdel’s second graphic memoir alongside Winicottian and Lacanian theories of motherhood. Her focus on comic books or genre literature such as science fiction stems from a firm belief that popular culture is often the best and most interesting spot for theorizing the gaps that structure and compel creative production—this belief informs not only her published work, but also her teaching and critical collaborations.