Postcolonial Queers: Representations, Remediations, Revolutions (NeMLA18 Panel)
The convergence of queer studies with postcolonial theory aims, at its core, to interrogate discourses that created hegemonic and binary categories that in turn became eventual grounds for the historical racialization of sexuality and the sexualization of race. By seeking to destabilize conventions of normalcy, tradition, and power, postcolonial queer studies puts forward non-normative and non-Western conceptions of race, sexuality, and gender that negotiate the spectrum where universalizing neoliberal, White, and predominantly gay love exists on one end; and where the exoticizing, orientalist homogenization of the “Other” exists on the other.
While Western theories such as Judith Butler’s performative thesis have been productive in opening up the discursive grounds on gender and sexuality, these frameworks often limn bodies in abstract ways that downplay their materialities and contexts. This panel thus hopes to build on the notion of a queer intersectionality whereby gender and sexual identity are inextricable from race, geography, linguistic modes, embattled histories, and cultural contexts. This indivisibility is further complicated in light of Maria Lugones’ argument that “colonization inscribed a new gender on the colonized that was not the ‘same’ as the gendered relationships present in Western/European cultures” (Canfield), where compulsory heterosexuality became a modern/colonial construction that was then used to police gender/sexuality between the colonizer and the colonized, implying thus that there also cannot be a separation of queer epistemologies from decolonial thinking.
Through a critical examination of intermedia sources (literature, film, art, etc.), this panel aims to engage the dialectics of gender and sexuality with discourses of postcolonialism, transnationalism, globalization, translocality, citizenship, and diaspora. By highlighting the struggles that “gendered citizens” face regarding their self-determination, this panel aims, along the way, to examine the broader horizons of modernity, sexual-cultural positionality, embodiment, and postcolonial subjectivities.
Those interested in delivering 15 to 20-minute presentations should submit abstracts of no more than 300 words. Please also include a short biography of no more than 100 words in your submission. Presenters from various disciplines, fields, and levels of study are encouraged to apply. All proposals must be submmited through the NeMLA portal: https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/16842
NeMLA 2018 will be held on April 12-15, 2018 in Pittsburgh, PA.
Christian Ylagan (Western University)