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Queering Paradigms IV

South-North Dialogues on Queer Epistemologies, Embodiments and Activisms

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Elizabeth Sara Lewis, Rodrigo Borba, Branca Falabella Fabrício and Diana de Souza Pinto

South-North Dialogues on Queer Epistemologies, Embodiments and Activisms is composed of research presented at the fourth international Queering Paradigms Conference (QP4), held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In line with the QP project ethos of bringing together diverse epistemological and geographical allegiances, this volume intends to contribute to building a queer postcolonial critique of the current politics of queer activism and of queer knowledge production and circulation. However, rather than perpetuating the North-South dichotomy, the papers gathered here are an effort to establish global dialogues that crisscross those axes, as well as attempts at queering epistemologies, socio-political bonds, and bodies, embodiments and identities. They endeavour to trouble unequal geographies of knowledge – namely the North as an exporter of theories and the South as their importer; the North as a producer of knowledge and the South as its object of study – hosting enormous potential for reinvention.

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Introduction: A Queer Postcolonial Critique of (Queer) Knowledge Production and Activism (Rodrigo Borba, Elizabeth Sara Lewis, Branca Falabella Fabrício and Diana de Souza Pinto)

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Rodrigo Borba, Elizabeth Sara Lewis, Branca Falabella Fabrício and Diana de Souza Pinto Introduction: A Queer Postcolonial Critique of (Queer) Knowledge Production and Activism Queering Paradigms: South-North Dialogues on Queer Epistemologies, Embodiments and Activisms is the fourth volume of the Queering Paradigms series, bringing together cutting-edge research presented during the 4th International Queering Paradigms Conference (QP4), held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in July, 2012. In line with the QP project ethos of bringing together diverse epistemological and geographical allegiances, it intends to contribute to building a queer postcolonial critique of the current poli- tics of queer knowledge production and circulation and of queer activism across Global South-North axes. So far, as Ramón Grosfoguel (2008) has argued, moving across such interlaced knowledgescapes has meant following a unilateral vertical stream, i.e. a one-way “conversation” running from North to South. This spatial meta- phor, besides making the verticality of the monologue visible, points to the production of a particular state of flow with two main characteristics. On the one hand, theories and concepts travel to the Global South, where they are adopted but hardly ever adapted, since adaptation of theories would “pollute” them with local twists. On the other, theories and concepts produced in the Global South are hardly ever adopted or adapted by Global North researchers. Examining this kind of communication funnel is part and parcel of the critical endeavor we are trying to pursue here, which is related to what we term North-normativity: the North is the place...

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