Gay and Lesbian Studies

Read to Respond: Queer Studies

R2R final logoOur “Read to Respond” series addresses the current climate of misinformation by highlighting articles and books that encourage thoughtful, educated debate on today’s most pressing issues. This post focuses on queer studies in celebration of Pride Month and yesterday’s Equality March for Unity & Pride. Read, reflect, and share these resources in and out of the classroom to keep these important conversations going.

Queer Studies

These articles are freely available until December 15, 2017. Follow along with the series over the next several months and share your thoughts with #ReadtoRespond.

Read to Respond: Trans Rights

R2R final logoOur “Read to Respond” series addresses the current climate of misinformation by highlighting articles and books that encourage thoughtful, educated debate on today’s most pressing issues. This post focuses on trans rights in light of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, a day dedicated to drawing the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the public, and the media to the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBTQIA+ people internationally. Read, reflect, and share these resources in and out of the classroom to keep these important conversations going.

Trans Rights

These articles are freely available until December 15, 2017. Follow along with the series over the next several months and share your thoughts with #ReadtoRespond.

Celebrating International Women’s Day

InternationalWomensDay-portraitToday is International Women’s Day (IWD), a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. Since the early 1900s, this day has been a powerful platform that unifies tenacity and drives action for gender parity globally. IWD organizers are calling on supporters to help forge a better-working and more gender-inclusive world. In honor of this year’s International Women’s Day, we are pleased to share these recent books and journals from Duke University Press that support this year’s IWD theme: #BeBoldForChange.

Trans/Feminisms
a special issue of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly

tsq_new_prThis special double issue of TSQ goes beyond the simplistic dichotomy between an exclusionary transphobic feminism and an inclusive trans-affirming feminism. Exploring the ways in which trans issues are addressed within feminist and women’s organizations and social movements around the world, contributors ask how trans, genderqueer, and nonbinary issues are related to feminist movements today, what kind of work is currently undertaken in the name of trans/feminism, what new paradigms and visions are emerging, and what questions still need to be taken up. Central to this special issue is the recognition that trans/feminist politics cannot restrict itself to the domain of gender alone.

This issue features numerous shorter works that represent the diversity of trans/feminist practices and problematics and, in addition to original research articles, includes theory, reports, manifestos, opinion pieces, reviews, and creative/artistic productions, as well as republished key documents of trans/feminist history and international scholarship.

Living a Feminist Life

978-0-8223-6319-4In Living a Feminist Life Sara Ahmed shows how feminist theory is generated from everyday life and the ordinary experiences of being a feminist at home and at work. Building on legacies of feminist of color scholarship in particular, Ahmed offers a poetic and personal meditation on how feminists become estranged from worlds they critique—often by naming and calling attention to problems—and how feminists learn about worlds from their efforts to transform them. Ahmed also provides her most sustained commentary on the figure of the feminist killjoy introduced in her earlier work while showing how feminists create inventive solutions—such as forming support systems—to survive the shattering experiences of facing the walls of racism and sexism. The killjoy survival kit and killjoy manifesto, with which the book concludes, supply practical tools for how to live a feminist life, thereby strengthening the ties between the inventive creation of feminist theory and living a life that sustains it.

1970s Feminisms
a special issue of South Atlantic Quarterly

ddsaq_114_4For more than a decade, feminist historians and historiographers have engaged in challenging the “third wave” portrait of 1970s feminism as essentialist, white, middle-class, uninterested in racism, and theoretically naive. This task has involved setting the record straight about women’s liberation by interrogating how that image took hold in the public imagination and among academic feminists. This issue invites feminist theorists to return to women’s liberation—to the texts, genres, and cultural productions to which the movement gave rise—for a more nuanced look at its conceptual and political consequences. The essays in this issue explore such topics as the ambivalent legacies of women’s liberation; the production of feminist subjectivity in mass culture and abortion documentaries; the political effects of archiving Chicana feminism; and conceptual and generic innovations in the work of Gayle Rubin, Christine Delphy, and Shulamith Firestone.

The Revolution Has Come: Black Power, Gender, and the Black Panther Party in Oakland

978-0-8223-6286-9In The Revolution Has Come Robyn C. Spencer traces the Black Panther Party’s organizational evolution in Oakland, California, where hundreds of young people came to political awareness and journeyed to adulthood as members. Challenging the belief that the Panthers were a projection of the leadership, Spencer draws on interviews with rank-and-file members, FBI files, and archival materials to examine the impact the organization’s internal politics and COINTELPRO’s political repression had on its evolution and dissolution. She shows how the Panthers’ members interpreted, implemented, and influenced party ideology and programs; initiated dialogues about gender politics; highlighted ambiguities in the Panthers’ armed stance; and criticized organizational priorities. Spencer also centers gender politics and the experiences of women and their contributions to the Panthers and the Black Power movement as a whole. Providing a panoramic view of the party’s organization over its sixteen-year history, The Revolution Has Come shows how the Black Panthers embodied Black Power through the party’s international activism, interracial alliances, commitment to address state violence, and desire to foster self-determination in Oakland’s black communities.

Reconsidering Gender, Violence, and the State
a special issue of Radical History Review

ddrhr_126In bringing together a geographically and temporally broad range of interdisciplinary historical scholarship, this issue of Radical History Review offers an expansive examination of gender, violence, and the state. Through analyses of New York penitentiaries, anarchists in early twentieth-century Japan, and militarism in the 1990s, contributors reconsider how historical conceptions of masculinity and femininity inform the persistence of and punishments for gendered violence. The contributors to a section on violence and activism challenge the efficacy of state solutions to gendered violence in a contemporary US context, highlighting alternatives posited by radical feminist and queer activists. In five case studies drawn from South Africa, India, Ireland, East Asia, and Nigeria, contributors analyze the archive’s role in shaping current attitudes toward gender, violence, and the state, as well as its lasting imprint on future quests for restitution or reconciliation. This issue also features a visual essay on the “false positives” killings in Colombia and an exploration of Zanale Muholi’s postapartheid activist photography.

Color of Violence: The INCITE! Anthology

978-0-8223-6295-1The editors and contributors to Color of Violence ask: What would it take to end violence against women of color? Presenting the fierce and vital writing of INCITE!’s organizers, lawyers, scholars, poets, and policy makers, Color of Violence radically repositions the antiviolence movement by putting women of color at its center. The contributors shift the focus from domestic violence and sexual assault and map innovative strategies of movement building and resistance used by women of color around the world. The volume’s thirty pieces—which include poems, short essays, position papers, letters, and personal reflections—cover violence against women of color in its myriad forms, manifestations, and settings, while identifying the links between gender, militarism, reproductive and economic violence, prisons and policing, colonialism, and war. At a time of heightened state surveillance and repression of people of color, Color of Violence is an essential intervention.

World Policy Interrupted
a special issue of World Policy Journal

wpj33_4_23_frontcover_fppThis issue is penned entirely by female foreign policy experts and journalists and “imagines a world where we wouldn’t need to interpret to be heard at the table. In reconstructing a media landscape where the majority of foreign policy experts quoted, bylined, and miked are not men, we quickly gain deeper insight into a complex world, one historically narrated by only one segment of society,” co-editors Elmira Bayrasli and Lauren Bohn write. Bayrasli and Bohn lead Foreign Policy Interrupted, a program that mentors, develops, and amplifies the voices of women in the international policy field. Foreign Policy Interrupted combats the industry’s gender disparity through a visibility platform and a cohesive fellowship program, including media training and meaningful mentoring at partnering media institutions. The program helps women break both internal and external barriers.

Stay up to date on women’s studies scholarship with these journals on gender studies, feminist theory, queer theory, and gay and lesbian studies:

Camera Obscura
differences
GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies
Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies

 

2017 Modern Language Association Highlights and Wrap-Up

We had a great time selling books and journals, meeting authors, and congratulating award-winners at the 2017 annual meeting of the Modern Language Association (MLA) in Philadelphia last week. Thank you to all who stopped by our exhibit booth to browse and buy. In case you couldn’t attend, here are some conference highlights!

The convention kicked off with the Council of Editors of Learned Journals (CELJ) awards on Thursday. Congratulations again to David Scott, editor of Small Axe, for his 2016 Distinguished Editor Award! Read more about David Scott, the award, and Small Axe here.

nadiaellis

Nadia Ellis, author of Territories of the Soul: Queered Belonging in the Black Diaspora

Several Duke authors were also honored with awards this year. Nadia Ellis won the William Sanders Scarborough Prize Honorable Mention for her book, Territories of the Soul: Queered Belonging in the Black Diaspora.

From the GL/Q Caucus of the MLA, Petrus Liu won the Alan Bray Memorial Book Prize Honorable Mention for his book, Queer Marxism in Two Chinas.

Jose David Saldivar, co-editor of Junot Diaz and the Decolonial Imagination and author of Trans-Americanity, was awarded the American Literature Society’s Hubbell Medal for Lifetime Achievement in American Literary Studies.

Jasbir K. Puar, author of the Social Text #124 article “Bodies with New Organs: Becoming Trans, Becoming Disabled,” won the GL/Q Caucus’s Crompton-Noll Prize for Best LGBTQ Studies Article. Read the article, made freely available.

A Friday reception celebrated the minnesota review and Mediations.0106171938a

We were also happy to see some of our authors and journal editors stop by our booth. Here are a few photos:

Couldn’t make it to the convention? Are there still books you want to buy but couldn’t fit in your suitcase? Don’t worry—you can still stock up on books and journals at dukeupress.edu using our conference discount. Just use coupon code MLA17 at checkout through the end of February!

New Books In November

Our Fall season continues to bring in a bounty of smart, interesting, vital books.  Check out these new titles dropping in November:

978-0-8223-6286-9In the year of the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther founding, Robyn C. Spencer gives us The Revolution Has Come. In these pages Spencer traces the Black Panther Party’s organizational evolution in Oakland, California, examining how its internal politics along with external forces such as COINTELPRO shaped the Party’s efforts at fostering self-determination in Oakland’s black communities.

Now Peru is Mine is the account of the life of Manuel Llamojha Mitma, one of Peru’s most creative and inspiring indigenous political activists. His compelling life story covers nearly eight decades, providing a window into many key developments in Peru’s tumultuous twentieth-century history and political mobilization in Cold War Latin America.

978-0-8223-6235-7In Eating the Ocean, Elspeth Probyn moves away from a simplified food politics that is largely land-based and looks at food politics from an ocean-centric perspective by tracing the global movement of several marine species to explore the complex and entangled relationship between humans and fish.

Olufemi Vaughan, in Religion and the Making of Nigeria, examines how Christian, Muslim, and indigenous religious structures along with the legacies of British colonial rule have provided the essential social and ideological frameworks for the construction of contemporary Nigeria.

978-0-8223-6261-6Queer Cinema in the World offers a new theory of queer world cinema. Karl Schoonover and Rosalind Galt explore how queer cinema intersects with shifting ideals of global politics and cinema aesthetics to demonstrate its potential to disturb dominant modes of world-making and to forge spaces of queer belonging.

In the vein of hemispheric American studies, the contributors to New Countries examine how eight newly independent nations in the Western Hemisphere between 1750 and 1870 played fundamental roles in the global transformation from commercial to industrial capitalism.

We Dream Together is a thorough social and political history in which Anne Eller breaks with dominant narratives of the history of the Dominican Republic and its relationship with Haiti by tracing the complicated history of its independence between 1822 and 1865, thus showing how the Dominican Republic’s political roots are deeply entwined with Haiti’s.

978-0-8223-6244-9In Thinking Literature Across ContinentsRanjan Ghosh and J. Hillis Miller—two thinkers from different continents, cultures, training, and critical perspectives—debate and reflect upon what literature is, can be, and do in variety of contexts ranging from Victorian literature and Chinese literary criticism to Sanskrit Poetics and Continental philosophy.

Want to make sure you don’t miss a new book? Sign up for Subject Matters, our  e-mail newsletter.

The Politics of the Public Toilet

ddsaq_115_4The most recent issue of SAQ: South Atlantic Quarterly features “The Politics of the Public Toilet,” an Against the Day section edited by Kathi Weeks. “From the history of racial segregation in the United States and the ongoing sex segregation of toilets to the desperate dearth of facilities around the world, the provision and governance of the toilet is a politically charged phenomenon,” Weeks contends in the introduction to the section.

Contributors address topics such as bathroom access and social hierarchy, the decreased number of public toilets and privacy comfort in Britain for queer interactions, access to effective and adequate toilets in developing cities, the fear of public toilets and “others” as germ-ridden, dirty, and dangerous, and reframing the assumed necessity for sex-segrated public toilets, which includes a design proposal for a single-unit gender-neutral bathroom by architect Joel Sanders and trans* scholar Susan Stryker.

“The public toilet has been the scene of exclusions, but it is also becoming the site of new possibilities for political theory and practice,” Weeks argues.

The essays featured in “The Politics of the Public Toilet” will be freely available for the next six months.

Against the Day is a thematic section composed of short essays that engage topics of contemporary political importance. The title, “Against the Day,” is meant to highlight both the modes of activism and the specific occasion that the essays address.

The Child Now

ddglq_22_4Futurity, innocence, and childish subversion—as concepts, as frameworks—have yet to catch up to where the child has moved in the present century. In “The Child Now,” a special issue of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, edited by Julian Gill-Peterson, Rebekah Sheldon, and Kathryn Bond Stockton, contributors explore topics that are both vital and challenging for current queer studies.

Offering three new, rich formulations calibrated for thinking the child in this century, “The Queer Child Now and its Paradoxical Global Effects” by Kathryn Bond Stockton includes a reflection on how the terrain of the queer child has dramatically changed since the publication of her foundational book, The Queer Child, or Growing Sideways in the Twentieth Century, in 2009. “Same-Sex Marriage Litigation and Children’s Right to Be Queer” by Clifford Rosky combines queer theory and legal frameworks to bring much-needed context and critical questions to recent landmark legal decisions on same-sex marriage in the United States.

Other topics in this issue include child revolutionaries’ actions in Egypt and the colonial afterlife of the boarding school for indigenous children. Following the twists and turns of children now, contributors confront how race, gender, and sexuality are made to live and grow in children’s bodies.

Read the introduction to the issue, made freely available.

Upcoming Events: Tim Lawrence

In his new book  Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor, 1980-1983, Tim Lawrence examines the city’s party, dance, music, and art culture between 1980 and 1983, tracing the rise, apex, and fall of this inventive, vibrant, and tumultuous scene. Lawrence has a number of launch events in New York and London including readings, a symposium on the book and even some dance parties. We hope you can make it to one of them.

Party and Book Signing
25 September, 5:00 to midnight
Lucky Cloud Sound System Loft Party
Rose Lipman Building, de Beauvoir Road, London N1

Presentation, Discussion, Screening and DJing
Join Tim Lawrence in a conversation with Greg Wilson, a screening of Downtown 81, and DJing by Guillaume Chottin and Simon Halpin.
30 September
Hosted by Pages of Hackney at The Institute of Light
376 Helmsley Pl, London E8 3SB

Reading, Exhibition and Book Signing
Exhibition curated by Conor Donlon and Tim Lawrence.
1 October
Donlon Books
75 Broadway Market
London, E8 4PH

Discussion
October 4, 1:00pm
Yale University
Interdisciplinary Performance Studies Working Group
220 York Street, Room 201
New Haven, CT

Lecture
NYC Party Culture 1980-83: Conjuncture, Queers, Women
October 4, 5:00pm
Yale University
Loria 351
New Haven, CT

Lecture and Q&A
October 6, 4:30pm
Cornell University
Music Department, Lincoln Hall, Room 124
Ithaca, NY 14850

Lecture, Discussion and Book Signing
Lawrence will lecture on and discuss his book with Tavia Nyong’o.
October 7, 6:30 pm
The CUNY Graduate Center
365 5th Ave, NY 10016

Symposium Keynote: Tim Lawrence
October 8, 10:00am
Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at NYU
Performance Studies Studio
721 Broadway, 6th Floor, Rm. 612
Readings: Patti Astor and Tim Lawrence
Contributors: Leonard Abrams (East Village Eye), Emily Armstrong (video filmmaker), Patti Astor (downtown actor, Fun Gallery, Wild Style), Jeffrey Deitch (curator), Johnny Dynell (Mudd Club, Pyramid, Danceteria, Area), Kit Fitzgerald (video filmmaker), Jim Fouratt (Hurrah, Danceteria), Bernard Gendron (author), Steven Harvey (New York Rocker), Michael Holman (Negril, breaking impresario), Pat Ivers (video filmmaker), Danny Krivit (Roxy), Sal Principato (Liquid Liquid), John Robie (musician, producer), Chi Chi Valenti (Mudd Club, Danceteria), Sharon White (the Saint), Michael Zilkha (ZE Records)

Book Photo Show and Reception
Bobby Grossman (with Richard Boch), Allan Tannenbaum, Harvey Wang, Ande Whyland (with Dany Johnson) present photographs with commentary
October 8, 6:30pm
Howl Gallery
6 E 1st St, New York, NY 10003

Loft Party with Book Signing
October 9
The Loft

 718 Sessions Party with Book Signing
October 9
718 Sessions
http://dannykrivit.net/news

Conversation and Book Signing
Tim Lawrence in conversation with Ivan Baker (Mudd Club, Pyramid), Justin Strauss (Mudd Club, the Ritz), and Will Socolov (Sleeping Bag)
October 11
Rough Trade
64 N. 9TH St.
New York, NY

Screening, Panel Discussion and Book Signing
Dany Johnson DJing, screening of Downtown 81, panel discussion led by Tim Lawrence featuring Patti Astor, Johnny Dynell, Michael Holman and Ann Magnuson.
October 13, 6:30pm
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Film Plus, 425 seat Titus 1 Theater
11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019

Conversation, DJ Set and Book Signing
Tim Lawrence conversation with Ivan Baker (Mudd Club, Pyramid) and Justin Strauss (Mudd Club, the Ritz); DJing set by Ivan Baker and Justin Strauss
October 15, 4:00pm
Super Elevation Records
100 White St., New York, NY

Party and Book Signing
Better Days party at Analog, Bruce Forest DJ set.
October 15
Analog BKNY
177 Second Ave.
Brooklyn NY 11215

Discussion and Reading
Tim Lawrence in discussion with Steven Harvey.
October 16, 3:00pm
Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects/SHFAP
Exhibition, Paradise: Underground Culture in NYC 1978-83
208 Forsyth St, New York, NY 10002 

Lecture
October 17, 4:00pm
Columbia University
Institute for Research on Women, Gender and Sexuality
754 Schermerhorn Ext, New York, NY 10027

Talk, Reading and Book Signing
26 October
Phonica Records
51 Poland St, London W1F 7LZ

Listening Session, Talk and Book Signing
Tim Lawrence presents Dinosaur L 24-24 Music.
6 November
Classic Album Sundays

Discussion and Book Signing
Tim Lawrence in conversation with Greg Wilson.
26 November, 6:00pm
Walthamstow Rock n Roll Book Club
Waterstones in Walthamstow
Unit 30-31 Selbourne Walk Shopping Centre
Walthamstow, London, E17 7JR

After Party
Wildcard Brewery featuring Soul Picnic DJs and special guest DJ
26 November, 8:00pm
Ravenswood industrial estate off Shernall St, Walthamstow

 

On Second Book-Writing

 

 

Today we are happy to present a guest blog post from Duke University Press author Nick Salvato, who is Associate Professor and Chair of Performing and Media Arts at Cornell University, and the author of Uncloseting Drama: American Modernism and Queer Performance, and our recent book Obstruction. Here, Salvato discusses the privileges and un-obstruction of second book-writing.

obstructionLast year, colleagues at Williams College, participating in a reading group on affect theory, invited me to share material from my then-forthcoming book Obstruction, which has since been published by Duke University Press. As expected, we discussed affect, its relationship to sensation and intellection, and the role of each of these key terms in my book project. What I did not expect, but was grateful to have an opportunity to consider with smart fellow travelers in the humanities, was how to respond to an invitation posed by one of the reading group’s organizing members, who said pointedly, “We need to talk about the fact that this is a second book—and that it couldn’t be a first book.”

Let me zoom out from that splendid provocation and offer a context in which to situate it. Obstruction is not only a specimen of scholarly writing but also a book about scholarly writing. It takes up the experiential stuff of everyday academic life that we suppose to be bad for projects like book-writing—embarrassment, laziness, slowness, cynicism, digressiveness—and turns each of these phenomena on its ear in order to disclose its unexpected, paradoxical value. Neither naively embracing the productivity demanded of professors in the corporatized, neoliberal university nor proposing an abandonment or supersession of work, Obstruction walks a fine line by asking its readers to acknowledge negative or impedimental conditions precisely as impediments, yet at the same time to generate out of them some things of promise or hope: whether as small as a sentence or a close reading of a cinematic scene or as large as an argument about contemporaneity and global capitalism.

So why couldn’t Obstruction have been a first book? A number of speculations were tested in the conversation at Williams. A scholar has to have traction in the profession, which the first book helps signally to provide, in order to write a meta-professional book in whose legitimacy anyone will invest. Authors of first books are not as likely to be encouraged by editors and peer reviewers to tackle big questions of potentially general interest (what exactly is embarrassment? why might cynicism not only be toxic? how could it be that a lot of hand-wringing over the ostensible speed and distraction associated with contemporary media is misplaced?). And readers may question the chops of a young scholar who tackles a very varied archive, as I do in Obstruction when I survey popular music, experimental theatre, independent film, cable television, and journalistic blogging; the first book is expected to establish one’s narrower bona fides as, say, a theatre historian or a media theorist—certainly not as both, at once.

In other words, it is an extraordinary privilege to expect to be taken seriously in writing reflexively about writing, in supposing that the reach of one’s work may surpass disciplinary specialization, in aiming to demonstrate that one can rigorously interpret many different kinds of objects—let alone to do all three under one cover. But there is a further matter of what we could variously call authorial persona, voice, or style that I would be remiss not to address as well in trying to understand the second bookishness of Obstruction. Trusting the basic stability and credibility of my voice (it took in part having written the first book to enjoy such confidence), I wanted to see what would happen if I stretched it in various ways: risking more confessional asides, more sly humor, denser clauses, stranger lexicons. And, it will at this point be little surprise, the best models I identified for such writerly experimentation came in many instances from the second books of some of my favorite scholars: Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s Epistemology of the Closet, Lauren Berlant’s The Queen of America Goes to Washington City, Ann Cvetkovich’s An Archive of Feelings, to name a few. A certain boldness and eccentricity, which is also to say a certain difficulty, is a luxury to which second book writers may find that they will have greater access, permission, or indulgence.

But does it have to be thus? Why do various forms of professional gate-keeping and policing, including but by no means beginning or ending with self-policing, make some scholarly moves ones that I mark here as forms of privilege or luxury? In chewing on that question, I have been thinking a lot about a passage from Sedgwick’s 1993 essay, “Queer and Now,” which I quote in one of Obstruction’s longer, more discursive footnotes but which ought to be shared more emphatically, hence its reinvocation here: “It is not a simple fact…for the facilities of creativity and thought to represent rare or exorbitant privilege. Their economy should not and need not be one of scarcity.” I could not agree more with Sedgwick’s still-timely assertion and the alternative intellectual economy, one opposed to scarcity, toward which she gestures obliquely. How to make such an alternative economy obtain is a question for which Sedgwick did not, in “Queer and Now,” have a direct answer. And I am not sure that I feel any closer to one in turn.

Or at least not to a systematic one. I can inhabit, and imagine many others inhabiting, and imagine advocating that many others should inhabit, a consistent position of critical generosity and indeed expansiveness when advising junior colleagues how to think about what forms and terms are possible for their work—and especially when evaluating that work. But that position, however consistently adopted, feels nonetheless too nonce and incremental to me. A more radical, wholesale reorientation of our scholarly expectations and norms, pushing our more vulnerable writers past the current can’ts and shouldn’ts, is a goal for whose realization I am impatient. I don’t want to wait for the authority conferred on the third book, or on any individually written book at all, to help make more wholly un-obstructed who ventures to write beyond the rules.

You can order Obstruction from your favorite local or online bookstore (print and e-editions available) or order directly from Duke University Press. Use coupon code E16NSALV  to save 30%.

Queer Geopolitics

ddglq_22_2Today, we’re excited to share “Area Impossible: The Geopolitics of Queer Studies,” the latest issue of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies. Edited by Anjali Arondekar and Geeta Patel, “Area Impossible” stages a much-needed conversation between two often-segregated fields: queer studies and area studies.

Within queer studies, the turn to geopolitics has challenged the field’s logics of time, space, and culture, which have routinely been rooted in the United States. For area studies, the focus on diaspora, forced migration, and other transnational trajectories has unmoored the geopolitical from the stability of nations as organizing concepts.

The contributors to “Area Impossible” seek to imagine and broker conversations in which “area” becomes the form through which epistemologies of empire and market are critiqued. They approach a queer geopolitics through exploring topics such as debt bondage, sexuality and indentured labor, trans theater, Dalit religiosity, and queer studies in Africa.

Read the introduction to the issue, made freely available.

Interested in reading more of the latest in queer and area studies?  Check out our recent scholarship:

In Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times, Jasbir K. Puar argues that configurations of sexuality, race, gender, nation, class, and ethnicity are realigning in relation to contemporary forces of securitization, counterterrorism, and nationalism. She examines how liberal politics incorporate certain queer subjects into the fold of the nation-state, through developments including the legal recognition inherent in the overturning of anti-sodomy laws and the proliferation of more mainstream representation.

When imagined in relation to other regions of the United States, the Midwest is often positioned as the norm, the uncontested site of white American middle-class heteronormativity. A growing body of recent queer work on rural sexualities, transnational migration, regional identities, and working-class culture suggests the need to understand the Midwest otherwise. “Queering the Middle,” a recent issue of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, offers an opportunity to think with, through, and against the idea of region. The introduction is freely available.

Jyoti Puri, in Sexual States, tracks the efforts to decriminalize homosexuality in India to show how the regulation of sexuality is fundamentally tied to the creation and enduring existence of the state. By highlighting the various means through which the regulation of sexuality constitutes India’s heterogeneous and fragmented “sexual state,” Puri provides a conceptual framework to understand the links between sexuality and the state more broadly.

In Metroimperial Intimacies Victor Román Mendoza combines historical, literary, and archival analysis with queer-of-color critique to show how U.S. imperial incursions into the Philippines enabled the growth of unprecedented social and sexual intimacies between native Philippine and U.S. subjects. By highlighting the importance of racial and gendered violence in maintaining control at home and abroad, Mendoza demonstrates that studies of U.S. sexuality must take into account the reach and impact of U.S. imperialism.

Whereas many scholars assume the emergence of queer cultures in China signals the end of Marxism and demonstrates China’s political and economic evolution, Petrus Liu finds the opposite to be true in Queer Marxism in Two Chinas. He challenges the persistence of Cold War formulations of Marxism that position it as intellectually incompatible with queer theory, and shows how queer Marxism offers a nonliberal alternative to Western models of queer emancipation.

In The Security Archipelago, Paul Amar provides an alternative historical and theoretical framing of the refashioning of free-market states and the rise of humanitarian security regimes in the Global South by examining the pivotal, trendsetting cases of Brazil and Egypt. Addressing gaps in the study of neoliberalism and biopolitics, Amar describes how coercive security operations and cultural rescue campaigns confronting waves of resistance have appropriated progressive, antimarket discourses around morality, sexuality, and labor.