CFP: Postcolonial Meets Queer Theory (4/1/05; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Aydemir, M.
contact email: 
M.Aydemir@uva.nl

Call for Papers=20
INDISCRETIONS: AT THE INTERSECTION OF POSTCOLONIAL AND QUEER THEORY

Editor: Murat Aydemir
Book Series: Thamyris/Intersecting: Place, Sex, and 'Race'
Publisher: Rodopi (Amsterdam/New York)
Series Editor: Ernst van Alphen
Deadline for Proposals: April 1, 2005

Ross Chambers' analysis of the gay sexual "tourism" of Roland Barthes, =
both abroad and at home, stands as a challenge to those assuming that =
the epistemological and political projects of queer theory and =
postcolonialism are self-evidently governed by the same spirit, or =
garner similar effects (Loiterature, 1999, 250-69). According to =
Chambers, Barthes' anti-narratives of cruising, whether set in the =
commercial district of Saint-Germain-de-Pr=E8s in Paris or in Morocco, =
studiously "forget" the (post)colonial context that makes young Maghrebi =
men available for the writer's melancholic and desirous scrutiny. The =
dreary and hapless cruising detailed in "Soir=E9es de Paris" furnishes =
an ongoing story that has no point, that remains pointless; the generous =
Moroccan sexuality of "Incidents" delivers a series of pointed details =
without a story. (Both texts are part of the posthumously published =
collection Incidents, 1992.) The establishment of the urban everyday in =
the former text and of the exotic in the latter, Chambers argues, are =
both conditional on the foreclosure of the (post)colonial from bearing =
on the practices and expressions of gay male desire. Thus, Barthes' =
cruising in Paris and Morocco, Chambers concludes, requires "the double =
forgetting of the colonial." (258)

Chambers' analysis may be limited in that it concerns a specific (and =
perhaps specifically gay male) practice. But Chambers' reading can also =
be taken as exemplary in that it foregrounds a set of urgent questions. =
Does the study of queerness, lesbian, gay, or other, implicitly mandate =
not getting the (post)colonial point? Conversely, does (post)colonial =
expertise require one to miss the queer point? And, how can the two be =
productively and relevantly be recombined? Indiscretions: At the =
Intersection of Postcolonial and Queer Theory proposes to take to task =
both theoretical discourses in relation to each other, bearing in mind =
that that relationship may be intimate, mirroring, conflict-ridden, =
and/or mutually exclusive. As Chambers asks, "What =
incidences-interactions, intersections, intrications, mutual =
interruptions-join them?" (251)

Such questions are especially pressing now that the exoticizing erotics =
that Barthes exemplifies seem largely superseded by the new islamophobia =
and racism of Europe (and The Netherlands in particular) that legitimize =
themselves precisely by citing the attitudes towards (homo-)sexuality of =
Islamic immigrants. At the same time, the institutionalization of queer =
theory and postcolonialism as separate areas of specialization has =
hampered academics in intervening intellectually and activistically in =
today's heady concatenation of sexual and cultural issues. The =
simultaneity of these developments forces a re-evaluation of the =
pitfalls and possibilities of postcolonial and queer politics in =
relation to each other.

With its social as well as semiotic connotations, the titular notion of =
"indiscretions" may serve as a productive pointer to access and organize =
the discussion. Also, it invites contributors to be less than discreet =
with their employment of the two bodies of theory at issue, intersecting =
the one with the other. Indiscretions advocates the close analysis of =
instances and aspects of culture in which
-- discretionary power, the social authority to tell the difference, =
renders discrete cultural and sexual identities, as well as in which =
this power is haunted or enchanted by a potential for density, for =
indiscretion, that eludes it;
-- cultural and sexual identities and practices become discrete or =
indiscrete in relation to each other;
-- postcolonial and queer theory can grasp, render discreet and legible, =
aspects of cultural and artistic texts, as well as of instances and =
aspects in which they fail to do so;
-- postcolonial and queer theory can render discrete and/or indiscrete =
aspects of each other.

Proposals for contributions to Indiscretions: At the Intersection of =
Postcolonial and Queer Theory may be submitted by email =
(m.aydemir_at_uva.nl <mailto:m.aydemir_at_uva.nl>) before April 1, 2005. =
Include the proposal (600 words) in the body of the message. Use =
"Indiscretions" as the subject line. Please include a short c.v. The =
deadline for the finished articles (6,000-8,000 words) is September 1, =
2005. All acceptances are conditional on the approval of the series =
editor. For more information on the Thamyris/Intersecting series, refer =
to www.rodopi.nl/senj.asp?SerieID=3DTHAMYRIS=20

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Received on Wed Feb 02 2005 - 17:50:54 EST

cfp categories: 
gender_studies_and_sexuality