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[VISITING LECTURE SERIES 2017] Queering Violence: Militarization, Imperialism and Homonationalism
October 4, 2017 @ 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Queering Violence: Militarization, Imperialism and Homonationalism
Dr. Tamar Shirinian
Postdoctoral Fellow & Co-Director of Women’s and Gender Studies, Millsaps College
Since the “War on Terrorism,” lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender bodies have been recruited in U.S. projects of militarization and nationalism. U.S. LGBT subjects have included themselves within a spectrum of American values celebrating free markets, military invasions that prop up imperialist projects and “freedom” defined through consumption. These discourses are damaging not only to the building of radical queer politics in the U.S., but are also used by state institutions in order to cull up support for international policy to spread this “freedom,” often furthering militarization. Within this scope of thinking sexual liberation as an imperialist project, we can think through forms of epistemic and systemic violences that arise from Euro-American contexts that seek to define the proper “civilized” subject vis-à-vis neoliberal ideology, coopting and diminishing the potentials of what could have otherwise been potential for radical anti-imperialism and anti-militarization. Furthermore, imperialism on “the other side” – based on discourses of an “East” that resists “Westernization” through opposition to LGBT bodies – is also emerging. This lecture will examine the ways in which sexuality is not in isolation to or on the margins of militarization and imperialism, but has in many ways come to be central to them.