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(De)politicized pleasures and the construction of (white) queer utopia in Netflix's Sense8

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This article examines how the Netflix series Sense8 uses multiracial, transnational characters and relationships as a form of transgression over restrictive racial and sexual categories and their subsequent oppression. In Sense8, the characters' erotic desires for the other are represented as the entry into a deracialized, dehistoricized, depoliticized and liberal global public sphere. Sexual pleasure with the colonized, racialized and gendered other is represented as a form of transgressing and transcending the limitations of the body that non-western and non-white bodies perpetually remain trapped in. These representations are also normalizing tropes of queer utopias that do not acknowledge the intersectional erasures that continuously occur in this series. As transnational scholars from Ghana, India and China, who are situated in daily inter-racial relations, we challenge the simplistic and uncritical viewing of Sense8 through our hybrid postcolonial subjectivities.
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Keywords: Netflix; Sense8; oppression; otherness; sexual pleasure; subjectivity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: 0000000106599139 Drake University 2: 0000000121888502 University of New Mexico 3: 0000000106342763 Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

Publication date: September 1, 2019

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  • Queer Studies in Media & Popular Culture (QSMPC) is a refereed academic journal devoted to the study of representations and expressions of queerness in its various forms. International in scope and representing a wide variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches, it publishes scholarship on topics at the intersection of media/popular culture and queerness in gender/sexuality. QSMPC invites articles and artwork pertaining to queerness in media and popular culture, as well as reviews pertaining to recently released queer media artifacts.
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