‘Queer’ continues to carry the brunt of scholarly and political
claims about the sexual not despite but because of its different
usages. The overburdened term does not so much supply an answer but productively traces a problem: the precarious relationships between erotic life, identity, and power. This introductory article critically considers various contemporary conceptualizations of ‘queer.’ Subsequently, it revisits Michel
Foucault’s historic understanding of ‘the homosexual’ as the figure through which distinctions between people were recalibrated and redistributed after the waning of the feudal age. Finally, this
article discusses different takes on compounded or ‘intersecting’
identifications in relation to the queer problematization of identity.