The title of this themed issue uses the term decolonization to refer to the work of producing sexuality and feminist scholarship and theory focused on the specificities of the region. The issue features articles that challenge dominant notions of decolonization and postcoloniality in relation to sex, sexuality, and feminism. Specifically, the articles critically engage with scholarship and theory from the metropole, examine un- and underexplored territory, including non-normative and non-conforming embodiments and life, and address novel or taken-for-granted questions, such as how to define queer and feminist.
We also recommend the following books for further reading on body, sexuality, and resistance.
In The Right to Maim, Jasbir Puar brings her pathbreaking work on the liberal state, sexuality, and biopolitics to bear on our understanding of disability. Using the concept of “debility”—bodily injury and social exclusion brought on by economic and political factors—to disrupt the category of disability, she shows how debility, disability, and capacity together constitute an assemblage that states use to control populations.
As the 2011 uprisings in North Africa reverberated across the Middle East, a diverse cross-section of women and girls publicly disputed gender and sexual norms in novel, unauthorized, and often shocking ways. In a series of case studies ranging from Tunisia’s 14 January Revolution to the Taksim Gezi Park protests in Istanbul, the contributors to Freedom without Permission, edited by Frances Hasso and Zakia Salime, reveal the centrality of the intersections between body, gender, sexuality, and space to these groundbreaking events.
Focusing on political movements and cultural practices in different global locations, including Turkey, Palestine, France, and the former Yugoslavia, the contributors to Vulnerability in Resistance, edited by Judith Butler, Zeynep Gambetti, and Leticia Sabsay, articulate an understanding of the role of vulnerability in practices of resistance. Pointing to possible strategies for a feminist politics of transversal engagements and suggesting a politics of bodily resistance that does not disavow forms of vulnerability, the contributors develop a new conception of embodiment and sociality within fields of contemporary power.