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Queering Paradigms IV

South-North Dialogues on Queer Epistemologies, Embodiments and Activisms

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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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The Black Male Body and Sex Wars in Brazil

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← 300 | 301 → OSMUNDO PINHO

What challenge does th[e] excluded and abjected realm produce to a symbolic hegemony that might force a radical rearticulation of what qualifies as bodies that matter, ways of living that count as “life,” lives worth protecting, lives worth saving, lives worth grieving? (Butler 1993: 16)

The low level of critical light shone on the question of masculinity creates the illusion that the social forms that produce and regulate performances of masculine identity remain in a blind spot when it comes the reproduction of society’s symbolic forms. However, we need to recognize the intense social and political investments that affect the creation of masculine subject positions and identities in the invention of social life, with all of its contradictions and ambiguities. Not only is masculinity itself – as experienced in the lived world, in the public sphere and in transformations of intimacy – socially regulated; society also gains body and density in masculine gestures repeated as difference or through the innumerable other differences that produce the emergence of performative gender representations. As such, the goal of this chapter is to analyze the power relations that interconnect the state and the construction of black male bodies and subjectivities in Brazil, using the controversy over the so-called Lei Anti-baixaria to explore the sexual and racial tensions involved in the debate.

The theoretical effort behind this chapter is related, primarily, to an attempt to include “race” in queer perspectives. This is a fundamental task if...

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