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Figurations of Violence and Belonging

Queerness, Migranthood and Nationalism in Cyberspace and Beyond

Adi Kuntsman

This book offers a critical analysis of the complex relationship between violence and belonging, by exploring the ways sexual, ethnic or national belonging can work through, rather than against, violence. Based on an ethnographic study of Russian-speaking, queer immigrants in Israel/Palestine and in cyberspace, it gives an insight into the world of hate speech and fantasies of torture and sexual abuse; of tormented subjectivities and uncanny homes; of ghostly hauntings from the past and anxieties about the present and future. The author raises questions about the responsibilities of national homemaking, the complicity of queerness within violent regimes of colonialism and war, and the ambivalence of immigrant belonging at the intersection of marginality and privilege. Drawing from scholarship on migration, diaspora and race studies, feminist and queer theory, psychoanalysis and studies on cyberculture, the book traces the interplay between the different forms of violence – physical and verbal, social and psychic, material and discursive – and offers novel insights into the analysis of nationalism, on-line sociality and queer migranthood.
Contents: Racialised formations of national homecoming – Colonial space of Israel/Palestine – Queering the national, nationalising the queer – Homophobia and anti-homophobic organising – Queer shadows of the Soviet Gulag – Queer victimhood as Jewish victimhood – Globalised and nationalised war on terror – Queering nationalist violence – Torture, pain and violation – On-line passing and cyber identities – Orientalist fantasies – Queer immigrant scene – Melancholia as collective subjectivity – Exposure and erasure in cyberspace – Laughter as uncanny – Reverberations of violence between on-line and off-line – Genealogies and metonymies of violence – Raciology of dehumanisation – Refiguring humanness and hope for change.