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Queer Globalizations

Queer Globalizations: Citizenship and the Afterlife of Colonialism

Copyright Date: 2002
Published by: NYU Press
Pages: 281
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  • Book Info
    Queer Globalizations
    Book Description:

    Globalization has a taste for queer cultures. Whether in advertising, film, performance art, the internet, or in the political discourses of human rights in emerging democracies, queerness sells and the transnational circulation of peoples, identities and social movements that we call "globalization" can be liberating to the extent that it incorporates queer lives and cultures. From this perspective, globalization is seen as allowing the emergence of queer identities and cultures on a global scale. The essays in Queer Globalizations bring together scholars of postcolonial and lesbian and gay studies in order to examine from multiple perspectives the narratives that have sought to define globalization. In examining the tales that have been spun about globalization, these scholars have tried not only to assess the validity of the claims made for globalization, they have also attempted to identify the tactics and rhetorical strategies through which these claims and through which global circulation are constructed and operate. Contributors include Joseba Gabilondo, Gayatri Gopinath, Janet Ann Jakobsen, Miranda Joseph, Katie King, William Leap, Lawrence LaFountain-Stokes, Bill Maurer, Cindy Patton, Chela Sandoval, Ann Pellegrini, Silviano Santiago, and Roberto Strongman.

    eISBN: 978-0-8147-9018-2
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. Introduction: Dissident Sexualities/Alternative Globalisms
    (pp. 1-10)
    Arnaldo Cruz-Malavé and Martin F. Manalansan IV

    Queerness is now global. Whether in advertising, film, performance art, the Internet, or the political discourses of human rights in emerging democracies, images of queer sexualities and cultures now circulate around the globe. Representations of queer lives and desires in such mainstream Hollywood films asPhiladelphia, To Wong Foo, andGo Fish, and in the more arty international productions, the BritishThe Crying Game, the CubanStrawberry and Chocolate, and the IndianFire, it is true, sell increasingly well as global commodities to “general audiences.” And gay and lesbian lifestyle products, from pink triangles to rainbow flags to the Carlos...


    • 1 The Wily Homosexual (First—and Necessarily Hasty—Notes)
      (pp. 13-19)
      Silviano Santiago

      It is a commonplace that when Brazilian intellectuals travel to metropolitan sites, they are asked, How has Brazilian cultural production contributed to this or that critical theory, or how might Brazilian cultural production contribute to it? The question implicitly underscores not only the peripheral character of Brazilian culture (and thus of the intellectual who represents it) but also the subaltern condition of the Brazilian experience—even the ignorance of thehistoric specificityof Brazilian culture in the West. “Peripheral,” “subaltern,” and “particular” correspond semantically to the referent of the cosmopolitan question on thevalueof Brazilian culture, and these terms...

    • 2 Dissident Globalizations, Emancipatory Methods, Social-Erotics
      (pp. 20-32)
      Chela Sandoval

      Since 1969 Native American activist/scholar Bea Medicine has begun her public speeches with the greeting, “All my kinspersons, with a good heart, and strong hands, I welcome you.”¹ The aim of this greeting is to interpellate connection-by-affinity: to call up the proximities-of-being that can ally individual citizen-subjects into collectivity. These are coalition politics, and they function on a profoundly different register than those politics that similarly network and link citizen-subjects in the great global exchange of capital.

      Like the coalition politics of Bea Medicine, twenty-first-century transnational capitalism is conducted through linking-transactions. But globalizing capital links through a politics of transgression...

    • 3 ʺThere Are No Lesbians Hereʺ: Lesbianisms, Feminisms, and Global Gay Formations
      (pp. 33-46)
      Katie King

      “There are no lesbians here.” Who might make such a statement and for what intellectual and political purposes? What counts as a lesbian? Where is “here”? Struggles with the meanings of this statement and its corollary questions today signal an intersection of feminism, lesbian and gay studies, and globalization processes. Can the term “lesbian” (or can other wordings) be used at this historic moment as a meta-term, a structural category laboriously produced as a new universal, plucked from its local particularisms and strategically deployed as the sign under which divergent local sexualities and specific alternative social arrangements can be displayed?...


    • 4 Can Homosexuals End Western Civilization As We Know It? Family Values in a Global Economy
      (pp. 49-70)
      Janet R. Jakobsen

      What does it mean when Christian ministers stand up and say, “Homosexuality can end Western civilization as we know it”? Now, perhaps we “homosexuals” have secret powers that I don’t know about, but overall it’s difficult to say that something called “Western civilization,” particularly insofar as we are witnessing the triumph of the “new world order,” is coming to an “end.” And yet, what would it mean to take this statement seriously rather than simply dismissing it as the hyperbolic claims of a fanatical religiosity that, precisely because religious, is indicative of at best irrationality and at worst insanity: “Of...

    • 5 Family Affairs: The Discourse of Global/Localization
      (pp. 71-99)
      Miranda Joseph

      In a talk presented at the CLAGS conference on Homo Economics and now published inA Queer World, Michael Piore argues that since the 1970s capitalism has become much more tolerant of diversity. He notes that there are more and more businesses catering to the gay market and he claims that “we are developing an entrepreneurial class, a capitalist class of our own.” He says that “It is hardly in the interest of these businesses to assimilate to the dominant culture,” and that “our” capitalist class “has an interest in preserving a distinctive gay culture and niche markets” (505). Piore...

    • 6 Redecorating the International Economy: Keynes, Grant, and the Queering of Bretton Woods
      (pp. 100-133)
      Bill Maurer

      John Maynard Keynes is often credited with the creation of the theory of the “national economy,” since the components of hisGeneral Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money(1935) are all economic aggregates measured over a given geopolitical space (Radice 1984:112). Hence Keynes’s association with Fordism and Fordist nation-based systems of mass production and mass consumption. Also central to Keynes’sGeneral Theorywas the explicit threat, as he saw it, of external forces of instability. Hence Keynes’s arguments for limits on capital mobility, fixed exchange rates, and a model of international order based on economically sovereign nation-states interlinked by trade...

    • 7 Consuming Lifestyle: Commodity Capitalism and Transformations in Gay Identity
      (pp. 134-146)
      Ann Pellegrini

      I want to begin with some of the usual, but not for that reason any less sincere, disclaimers as to the provisional status of the claims—a series of hunches, really—unfolded here. In what follows, I am interested in tracing two narratives of transformation: (1) from industrial capitalism to postindustrial or commodity capitalism; (2) from homosexuality as minority identity to homosexuality as “alternative lifestyle.” Much of my argument depends on, even as it criticizes, John D’Emilio’s much-reprinted “Capitalism and Gay Identity” and Donald M. Lowe’sThe Body in Late-Capitalist USA. Both D’Emilio and Lowe offer historical accounts that emplot...


    • 8 Local Sites/Global Contexts: The Transnational Trajectories of Deepa Mehtaʹs Fire
      (pp. 149-161)
      Gayatri Gopinath

      In 1995 a group of Indian immigrant businessmen in New York City known as the FIA (Federation of Indian Associations) denied both SALGA (the New York–based South Asian Lesbian and Gay Association) and Sakhi (an anti–domestic violence women’s group) the right to march in the annual New York City India Day parade. The two activist organizations were banned from the parade, which celebrates India’s independence from the British in 1947, on the grounds that both groups were, in essence, “anti-national.”¹ In 1996, however, the FIA allowed Sakhi to participate while continuing to deny SALGA the right to march....

    • 9 Dancing La Vida Loca: The Queer Nuyorican Performances of Arthur Avilés and Elizabeth Marrero
      (pp. 162-175)
      Lawrence M. La Fountain-Stokes

      If in the not-so-distant past it was commonplace (albeit erroneous) to speak of Puerto Rico and its Diaspora as separate and distinct entities in a relationship of marked inequality—one in which the island was privileged as a “pure” or “authentic” space while the migrant population and its communities were seen as “tragically flawed” or deficient—current discourse on Puerto Rican culture has shifted significantly toward acknowledging the profound interconnection between the two and the rich social, political, and cultural importance of both. Terms such as “commuter nation,” “airbus” or “guagua aérea,” “transnation,” and “translocality,” for example, have become popular...

    • 10 Syncretic Religion and Dissident Sexualities
      (pp. 176-192)
      Roberto Strongman

      This essay presents a dissatisfaction with certain strains of thought within the political discourse on sexual orientation produced by economically and racially privileged segments of the gay and lesbian movement in the United States. I argue that the exportation of these knowledges on sexual orientation has a universalizing and homogenizing effect that erases culturally distinct and politically enabling gender differences and options in poorer populations and among communities of color worldwide. I also discuss an equally disturbing trend within scholarly discourse that polarizes U.S. and Latin American homosexualities to an extremely reductive and essentialistic simplicity. My main argument consists of...


    • 11 Stealth Bombers of Desire: The Globalization of ʺAlterityʺ in Emerging Democracies
      (pp. 195-218)
      Cindy Patton

      In the early 1990s, a small number of young men in Taiwan awaited their interviews with psychiatrists who would certify them as homosexual and therefore unfit for obligatory (for males) military service. Unfortunately, the highly public 1993 American debates about gays in the military had not passed unnoticed by officials in Taiwan. Although technically permitted to apply for the homosexual exclusion, those awaiting a hearing during this time were discouraged from declaring their sexuality, which was no longer considered cause of unfitness for military service. The exact reasons for this change in policy are unclear.

      Taiwan was probably following the...

    • 12 ʺStrangers on a Trainʺ: Sexual Citizenship and the Politics of Public Transportation in Apartheid Cape Town
      (pp. 219-235)
      William L. Leap

      “Homosexuality” as we know it in today’s South Africa is closely tied to the recent history of apartheid. As the following discussion will show, the technologies of apartheid—discrimination, displacement, enclosure, removal—regulated geographies and identities of male-centered, same-sex desire, just as they did for geographies and identities associated with other domains of everyday experience. At the same time, South African “homosexuality” has also been influenced by international media and other communication, by travel and tourism, and by forms of sexualized globalization discussed elsewhere in this volume. Even during the periods of greatest restriction, North Atlantic understandings of male same-sex...

    • 13 Like Blood for Chocolate, Like Queers for Vampires: Border and Global Consumption in Rodríguez, Tarantino, Arau, Esquivel, and Troyano (Notes on Baroque, Camp, Kitsch, and Hybridization)
      (pp. 236-264)
      Joseba Gabilondo

      Since the release ofThe Crying Game(1992), the 1990s have shown a global taste for “queer” films. Most of these films were originally released outside Hollywood (Farewell My Concubine, 1993;The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, 1994;Fresa y Chocolate, 1994;Madame Butterfly, 1995).¹ However, Hollywood caught on very quickly and duplicated the original foreign fascination with the queer(Philadelphia, 1993;Interview with the Vampire, 1994;Stargate, 1994;Ed Wood, 1994;To Wong Foo, 1995;Birdcage, 1996;In and Out, 1997). Furthermore, Hollywood managed to expand it onto a new realm: the “straight and queer” melodrama or...

  9. About the Contributors
    (pp. 265-268)
  10. About the Editors
    (pp. 269-270)
  11. Index
    (pp. 271-274)