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Queering Paradigms IV

South-North Dialogues on Queer Epistemologies, Embodiments and Activisms


Edited By 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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When Theories Travel: Queer Theory and Processes of Translation



Teresa de Lauretis (1991) was the first to use queer in a theoretical context, but she was also one of its first critics: to her mind, queerness had transformed into a conceptually empty creation of the cultural industry. Meanwhile, writing from Australia, Raewyn Connell (2010) claimed that the science of the metropolis continues to be exported in a sort of commerce that includes both Michel Foucault and Queer Theory itself. And it is this risk of our repeating in the Global South what is already outdated in the Global North that alerts us to a need to take investigations of the potentials of Queer Theory seriously when it travels to the tropics. Considering the risk, we can inquire: are we facing another theory that moves from the center to the periphery (and that is bound to rewrite, in different colors, this center-periphery divide)? Does the persistence of the English-language term “queer” signal a geopolitics of knowledge in which some formulate theories to be applied by others? How, then, can we translate the expression “queer”? In other words, how can we think queerly in the tropics?

The movement that the self-designating use of “queer” allows is sometimes understood as a variation on the adjective: an alteration focused on the form of perceiving the adjective’s qualities. This modification is located in the transition from a quality considered to be negative to another, positive one. The alteration enunciates and reiterates queer bodies as...

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