CfP: Interrogating Postcolonial Sexuality, 30.9.07, UK

Racism in the Closet: Interrogating Postcolonial Sexuality. Special issue of darkmatter journal
deadline: 30.9.07
This issue of darkmatter sets out to explore the complex and controversial relationship between discourses of race and sexuality. In particular, it focuses on the ways in which racialized difference has been configured as an obstacle to sexual freedom. While previous explorations of sexuality and race have tended to place emphasis on the negotiation and resolution of conflict between competing rights claims, this issue takes as a point of departure the recognition that their differential positioning in any social formation will invariably overdetermine the outcome of any such settlement. From this perspective it becomes more productive to give critical attention to the wider social and cultural contexts within which these conflicts take place, not in the name of conflict resolution, but in an attempt to understand their profound significance to the structuring of our contemporary social orders.
The need to theorize race through sexuality and the underpinning categories of sex/gender is becoming increasingly important given the ways in which new articulations of race and sexuality are occurring within and beyond the nation-state. Consider, for example, the way in which gay rights are being mobilized in anti-immigration discourse as a key signifier of European cultural superiority. Race and sexuality have also been central to the moral economy of the War on Terror, from representations of Afghanistan and Iraq to the abuses at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. As sexuality has come to play a major role in shaping dominant Western attitudes to cultural difference, lesbian and gay activists across the world have become starkly aware of the normative racial bias in hegemonic forms of sexual politics.
This issue asks: how are lesbian and gay subjects being mobilized in such discourses? How does a LGBTIQ politics collude with or participate in the War on Terror? How might we go about resisting a neocolonial politics of sexuality? In what new ways are race and sexuality articulated in an international comparative context? Can we think beyond intersectional and identitarian paradigms by questioning the praxis of othering and interrogating the production of whiteness as a queer norm?
Possible topics might include:
• sexuality and the racialization of religious/cultural practices;
• discourses of women’s rights and gay rights in the War on Terror;
• the politics of race and sexuality in nationalist and supra-nationalist formations;
• racism, Islamophobia and white privilege in activist communities;
• human rights and the politics of normalization;
• the relationship between queer subjects, biopolitics and necropolitics;
• race and reproductive technology/biotechnology.

Indicative article length: 1,500 – 8,000 words. Alternative formats, such as essays, commentaries, and reviews are welcome, as are audio, visual and digital contributions.
This edition of darkmatter is co-edited by Henriette Gunkel and Ben Pitcher.
In the first instance, please send abstracts of up to 300 words to dmjournal3[at] by September 30 2007.

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