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why queer diaspora?

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‘Why Queer Diaspora?’ intervenes at the intersection of queer theory and diaspora studies to ask how the conditions of geographical mobility produce new experiences and understandings of sexuality and gender identity. More particularly, this essay argues against a prevalent critical slippage between queer and diaspora, through which the queer is read as a mobile category that, like diaspora, disrupts the stability of fixed identity categories and thus represents a liberatory position within the material and geographical displacements of globalization. Instead, I posit that the work of ‘queering’ diaspora must be to examine the new articulations of normative and queer as they emerge in the transformations of the late twentieth century. To this end, the essay looks to two contemporary documentaries, Remote Sensing (Ursula Biemann, 2001) and Mariposas en el Andamio/Butterflies on the Scaffold (Margaret Gilpin and Luis Felipe Bernaza, 1996), as models of alternative articulations of the queer and the diasporic. Ultimately, I argue, it is a focus on the labour through which the seemingly natural categories of gender and sexuality are produced, that a queer diasporic criticism might offer.Feminist Review (2008) 90, 30–47. doi:10.1057/fr.2008.35
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 October 2008

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