Jindal Global Law Review
VOLUME 3, ISSUE 2, MARCH 2012
CALL FOR PAPERS
The Jindal Global Law Review (JGLR) is the flagship law journal of the Jindal Global Law School of the O.P. Jindal Global University. The JGLR was first published in 2009 and currently has three issues in print and one under production. JGLR is available online on LexisNexis. Since its second issue JGLR has been designed thematically to lend context and a degree of intellectual consistency to its contents. The second issue of the JGLR confronted conceptions of “Legal Pluralism”, the third tackled the issues of the “Changing Role of Law in Asia”, and the fourth focuses on “Indian Public Law: Investigations and Imaginations”.
JGLR now invites contributions for its fifth issue themed:
Rethinking Queer Sexualities, Law and Cultural Economies of Desire
Issue Editors: Dipika Jain Oishik Sircar
It would not be too romantic to call this ‘The Decade of Sex Rights’. Over the past ten years unprecedented legal developments have marked the recognition of the human rights of sexually marginalized people internationally: in 2006 the Norwegian statement at the UN Human Rights Council received support from 54 states; in 2007 the Yogyakarta Principles (though not international law) was adopted as a comprehensive charter of sexual rights guarantees; 2009 saw the UN General Assembly pass the Resolution on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity; and in 2011 over 80 countries supported a US joint statement to end acts of violence on the basis of sexual orientation. These developments have had parallel avatars in the form of decriminalization of anti-sodomy laws within national jurisdictions, notably the Lawrence and Garner case in the US (2003), and two historic judgments from South Asia: the Blue Diamond Society case in Nepal (2008), and the Naz Foundation case in India (2009). In May 2011, a controversial anti-homosexuality law that attracted the death penalty as punishment was shelved by the Ugandan parliament after a concerted effort by human rights and sexual rights groups from across the world.
These celebratory moments for the Queer movement have also been accompanied by the brutal rise of crony capitalism, the perverse consequences of the war on terror, the institutionalization of the industry-military complex, and the birth of a ‘new’ civil society, in this context the “Gay International” (Massad 2002): all of these armed with the virtues of liberalism and its vicissitudes in marketism, secularism, masculinism, nationalism, legalism and an unflinching belief in corporate globalization’s magical ability to turn former Queer outlaws into entrepreneurial and consumptive citizens, provided they play by the rules of the state-market nexus.
The spate of legal recognitions is socially manifest most powerfully in our cultural and reproductive economies. Queers now occupy central screen space in several popular cultural representations like Dostana and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, and have become targets for marketing campaigns that promote everything from queer-friendly clothing to real estate to tourist destinations to wedding planners to adoption agencies to surrogacy clinics and sperm banks. Queer subjects are now being transformed from figures of death – as primary vectors of AIDS – to figures of life and productivity – as homonormative subjects who reproduce heteronormativity through demands for the legal recognition of gay marriage (Puar 2007).
Reponses to rights demands of Queer people are being met by the enactment of laws and economic policies, and states, particularly non-western, seem to favourably consider their claims to live up to the civilizational marker of being an evolved and progressive polity. In effect, while the borders of citizenship are expanding to include Queer subjects, the process of inclusion is also resulting in making them engage in an exercise of privatized self-governance – where the trade-off is between recognition of sexual citizenship in the public sphere, and in return the promise to conform to heteronormative governance tactics in the private (Cossman 2007). It isn’t a surprise that major legal decisions decriminalizing anti-sodomy laws have used the ‘privacy’ argument to depoliticize the radical nature of Queer organizing. On the other hand, public visibility of Queer collectivization, particularly pride marches, is increasingly getting corporatized.
How does one explain the coexistence of the promise and contingent feel of Queer emancipation and the rise of insidious forms of corporeal and structural violence on the Queer body? What prompts the belief of many Queer rights groups in the law, when it is the very body of knowledge that legitimizes violence against them? Can rights guarantees de-historicise the experiences of Queer resistance? Are Queer movements becoming masculinist, racist, casteist and Islamophobic? Do they reproduce gender, caste and race hierarchies while claiming to dismantle sexual ones? Are there idealized notions of the Queer body? Does Queer subjectivity embody disabilities? How can such experiences of embodiment help us imagine sexuality and disability differently? Should we celebrate ‘The Decade of Sex Rights’ or be cautious and contemplative about the slippery slopes of our locations and strategies? Can there be a right-wing Queer? What are the connections between sexual cultures and sexual economies that define the contours of the Queer revolution today? Is there a revolution actually? Can ‘Queer’ be de-provincialized as a move towards building solidarity across other locations of sexual marginality, particularly sex work? Does Queer theory mark the end of Feminist theory? If not, how are they encountering each other? How do Queers negotiate between conformity and subversion in their visual representations in the cultural economy? What happens to “sexual subalterns” (Kapur 2005) who do not possess the currency of engaging in QueerSpeak? On what terms do they join the after-party of decriminalization? How does one speak about Queer emancipation beyond the liberal legalese of rights? How does disease and desire interact within a heteronormative political economy? How do we read nationalism and capitalism into the methods of Queer organizing today? What would a radical Queer politics look like? What constitutes a “counter-heteronormative” (Menon 2007) Queer utopia (Munoz 2009)?
These questions and the concerns shared above emerge from an understanding of the present moment in the life and times of Queer struggles – both in the metropole and the postcolony – as one where new intimacies are recognized and forged – be it solidarity between disparately located sexual rights groups or alliances between agendas of corporatization, communalization and militarization. The moment is also characteristic of old desires resurfacing – be it the legalistic desires for equality and justice, the humanist desire for dignity, or the orientalist desire of liberating the postcolonial Queer from barbaric cultures.
Keeping these problematics in mind, this issue of JGLR proposes to engage in a rigorous self-reflexive critique of the Queer movements’ engagements, confrontations, and negotiations with modernity and its investments in liberalism and legalism, with the objective of queering the ethics of our Queer politics.
JGLR publishes cross-disciplinary works that aim to push the limits of traditional scholarship. For this issue we welcome contributions that can take the shape of academic writings (articles, review essays), activist reflections (comments, field notes), creative interventions (art work, photo essays). Contributions need not strictly adhere to the theme note above, as long as they resonate with the theme, and are committed to the political project at hand. Contributors who disagree with the theme description are also welcome to send in their submissions, which can get included as counterpoints to enable a dialogue across the pieces that will finally appear.
Articles/ essays should be of 8,000 to 10,000 words; comments/ notes and review essays should be of 4,000 to 5,000 words (including footnotes/ references). JGLR follows the Bluebook style of citations and it is recommended that contributors follow it.
Submissions should be mailed as MS Word *.doc, *.docx or OpenOffice *.odt files in Times New Roman, font size 12, double spacing. Please do not email PDFs.
A set of books and films are available for review. Those interested need to write to the editors requesting a list, or with their specific preferences.
Contributors should email a 500 word abstract at the email addresses provided below by July 30, 2011. Those who have completed or work-in-progress manuscripts are welcome to send them instead of abstracts. The editors are happy to discuss an idea before submission.
Decisions on selected abstracts/ manuscripts will be announced by August 15, 2011.
Full submissions are due by October 31, 2011. Since JGLR follows a double-blind peer review process it is imperative that contributors stick to the deadlines.
Please mail your contributions/ questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, with a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please mark your subject line as: ‘JGLR Queer Issue’.
Oishik Sircar/ Dipika Jain
Jindal Global Law School
O.P. Jindal Global University
India Email: email@example.com
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