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Queer theory grew out of a transdisciplinary intellectual movement that started in the late 1980s, when many scholars, especially those from humanities-oriented disciplines, began to theorize about sex, sexuality, and sexual identities in ways that especially challenged dominant scientific and cultural assumptions. Although scholars had used the term queer theory prior to 1990—especially Gloria Anzaldúa, who had used the term several times in the 1980s—many see the birth of queer theory as coinciding with the queer theory conference organized by theorist Teresa de Lauretis at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 1990. That event was followed by a special issue of Differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies that de Lauretis edited from the conference proceedings. This work was quickly accepted and expanded ...

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