In recent years, a body of scholarship under the rubric of "global queering"
is pointing to an emergent "lesbian and gay world" or signs of what we think
of as "modern" homosexuality. According to this scholarship, this "global
subculture'" is dominated primarily by the lesbian and gay cultural models
of the USA and secondarily Europe. For better or worse, "universal" and
"modern" are considered to be Western properties in this global cultural
imaginary of "queer," "lesbian," "gay," and/or "transgender." Such an
unquestioned presumption in comparative queer studies reiterates the
dualities that fix the non-Western world as "local" and the West as
"global." Notably, much of this scholarship is inflected by a white gay male
optic that uses a style of enlightened postcolonial ethnography,
acknowledging the privilege of its gaze while nonetheless replicating some
dimensions of Western economic and cultural hegemony. Queer "Asia" and queer
"Africa" emerge in this literature as sites of inquiry situated within a
suspiciously neoliberal topography.
In this seminar we will propose ways of exploring queer "Asia" and queer
"Africa" that not only subvert the dominance of white queer culture, but
which also examine the inter-Asian and inter-African dimensions of queer
globalizations that have been neglected by scholars. Using theatre and
performance as our guiding scenarios, we discourage the reduction of "global
queering" to a unidirectional process of Westernization or Americanization,
and seek an active engagement in the queer cultural resources circulating
within Asia, Africa, and their diasporas. We are reintroducing a discussion
of neoliberalism and US/European cultural hegemony in a literature that
presupposes and ignores it. But we also seek to expand the critical
parameters of such binaries as "East/West" and "North/South" to include
circuits of mobility within the "East" and/or "South," and forces other than
neoliberalism, that effect the inter-Asian and inter-African circulation of
We seek proposals that explore the following:
How are queer tastes performed in specific national contexts and amidst
particular national liberation movements?
How are they inflected by consumer culture and tourism?
How do Asian and African theatre companies code them in their productions?
How are they displayed in the performances of everyday life?
While all disciplinary and epistemic approaches are welcome, we are
particularly interested in those that deal critically with the intersection
of globalization, queer, feminist, diaspora, and area studies. Suggestions
of related topics are welcome, and we encourage scholars from Africa and
Asia to submit proposals. Essays should be of conference paper length, 10-12
Please submit a 250 to 500 word abstract (attached or pasted in an email) by
June 30 to:
Eng-Beng Lim, firstname.lastname@example.org
AND Tavia Nyong'o email@example.com
If email is not available, hard-copy submissions, also due by June 30, 2004,
may be made to:
11343 Bunche Hall, Box 951487, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1487.
and Tavia Nyong'o at the enclosed address.
*PLEASE NOTE: Participants are required to become ASTR members
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