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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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“My Anger Is a Legacy”: Queer-feminist Politics of Negativity within Contemporary Social Movements

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← 164 | 165 → MARIA KATHARINA WIEDLACK

The contemporary Occupy movements have triggered a new interest in refusal, anger and noncompliance as forms of resistance against social injustice and oppression in North America and beyond. Most Occupy movements use rejection and negativity as a means of political action, as scholars like Jack Halberstam (2012) or Tavia Nyong’o (2012) have mentioned. Such movements appropriate anger and rigorously reject the existing social, cultural and political US system, rather than asking for reforms or gradual enhancement. The strategies of negativity they ally to are multifarious, as are the social problems they reject; the most interesting, however, are those which embrace the construction of queerness, blackness, brownness, the working class, femininity, etc. as threats against the (imaginary) makeup of US society. These strategies are influenced by queer-feminist and people of color approaches, as well as punk philosophy, as I will explain throughout this chapter, which is based on my PhD project. Accordingly, it is no coincidence that many queers, punks and queer punks of color participated in the new social uprising. Rather, I argue that their participation informed the movements’ politics to quite some extent.

Queer and people of color movements share a long history of using politics of anger and negativity. The movement most associated with anger, however, is the punk movement. Moreover, as I have explained in great detail in earlier publications (see Wiedlack 2011, 2013), many queers and feminists, as well as queer-feminists of color, were and still are...

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