Queer Identities and Global Discourses
Queer identities are — and have long been — enmeshed within large-scale circuits of exchange engendered by the movement of people, ideologies, markets, and capital. This course considers transnational conceptualizations and circulations associated with gender or sexual nonconformity. It emphasizes ways of interrogating queer citizenship that purposefully attend to dynamics exemplifying complex interactions on global and local scales.
In the wake of Foucault’s groundbreaking work on the history of sexuality in the 1970s, scholars have considered ‘colonialism’ and ‘nationalism’ as intellectually robust frameworks for examining the emergence of queer identities as we understand them today. Much of their work draws attention to persistent regimes of power, complicity, and resistance that can have far-reaching applicability. Although not entirely unrelated, worldwide responses to the AIDs crisis and terrorism have framed recent episodes of exchange, each shaded by its own particular global concerns. Finally, the ongoing expansion of markets and modes of communication contribute to processes associated with universalizing queer identities, often by facilitating progressive and liberating rhetoric that broadly embraces personal desires.
Despite the significance of such global dynamics, cultural realities specific to particular locales cannot be ignored when examining the global circulations associated with queer identities. Indeed, as some of the most recent scholarship points out, these often serve to mediate – and sometimes effectively disrupt – globalizing discourses on queer citizenship, especially those framed in terms of identity politics. Consequently, rather than simply assuming any particular narrative, we are necessarily reminded that queer identities are variously constructed and contested.
The syllabus may not be applicable to the current semester. Be sure to verify content with the professor(s) listed in the document.