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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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Raw Fantasies: An Interpretative Sociology of What Barebacking Pornography Does and Means to French Gay Male Audiences


← 320 | 321 → FLORIAN VÖRÖS

The word “barebacking” originates in North American rodeo culture, where it refers to riding a horse without a saddle. In the 1990s, while the experience of HIV seropositivity was profoundly transformed for those who benefitted from the arrival and enhancement of antiretroviral therapies, this expression was re-signified in North American HIV-positive gay male subcultures to refer to the pleasures of condomless anal sex and bodily fluid exchange (Rofes 1998; Adam 2005; Race 2007; Dean 2009). As Barry Adam stresses, barebacking is a specifically poz’ (term used to refer to HIV-positive people) and metropolitan invention

that has come about in major cities where a critical mass of HIV positive men have lived in close proximity over years, have formed social networks, and have developed a micro-culture of ideas and expectations that make sense in this particular context. (2005: 343)

Crossing sexual and national frontiers, barebacking has become a slippery signifier and may now refer, both in scientific and everyday life language, to any kind of condomless anal sex between men, regardless of the context in which it takes place (Berg 2009; Girard 2013), although scientific discourse most often reserves the use of the word for intentional unprotected anal intercourse among white, middle-class, gay-identified men from the Global North. Pronounced with a French accent and sometimes ← 321 | 322 → translated as “nokapote” (slang for “no condom”), this signifier crossed the Atlantic and emerged in the French public sphere in the late...

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