Uses of Erotic Expressive Culture: Queer Erotic Art and Literature as Power


  • Sophie Hogan


Erotic, Expressive Culture, Sexual Unconscious, Patriarchy, Heteronormativity


EuroAmerican society’s inability to look towards the sexual unconscious is actively causing harm to women and queer individuals. In “Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power” Audre Lorde suggests that the erotic is a powerful tool that has been intentionally suppressed and devalued in order to maintain patriarchy. I argue that expressive culture, such as art and literature, is one avenue in which we can look towards the sexual unconscious and harness erotic power in order to make real change against the oppressive way our culture structures gender and sexuality. Using three contemporary artists, Nico Mazza, Miles Greenberg, and David Wojnarowicz, as a case study, I demonstrate different ways eroticism can be embraced in order to counter a variety of injustices.

Author Biography

Sophie Hogan

Sophie (she/her) is a fourth year English and Art History student, currently living and studying on the Land of the Sylix Okanagan peoples. She has a passion for art, literature, and cultural theory and enjoys analyzing the ways in which they can intersect in order to counter master narratives and promote alternate ways of being/knowing. Her specific areas of interest include: queer theory, archival studies, contemporary art, and Black studies.