Notes: Karma Chávez, “The Precariousness of Homonationalism: The Queer Agency of Terrorism in Post-9/11 Rhetoric”

Chávez, Karma. (2015). The precariousness of homonationalism: The queer agency of terrorism in post-9/11 rhetoric. QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking, 2(3), 32–58.

Summary:

Chávez describes how homonationalism’s protections depend on the exclusion and leaving for dead of others.

Keywords: citizenship, homonormativity, LGBTQ, queer, queer rhetorics

Quotations:

“This tension between scapegoating and leaving or marking for death on the one hand, and protecting and fostering life on the other, reveals the precarious positioning of gays and lesbians in homonationalism; even when included, we are always potentially threatening to the “us” that many imagine to comprise the national body” (p. 33-34).

“The queer necropolitics of homonationalism ensures that some queers are always left to die” (p. 48-49).

“The homonormative white, middle-class U.S. citizen gay and the queered brown Muslim immigrant terrorist cannot be reduced to one another. A reading of two archetypes of each of these figures reveals their suspension together, and the way in which queerness comes to be framed as the central agency that enables the destruction of the nation in rhetoric ranging from the extremely conservative to the moderate or mainstream” (p. 49).

“For those who through their exceptionalism experience the fantasy of protection within the precarious project of homonationalism, this haunting is a call to reject this protection and to refuse participation in necropolitical logics. One way to reject and refuse is to center the perspectives and work of those queers left or targeted for death—the queer people of color, poor, trans, and gender nonconforming queers, homeless and disabled queers, prostitutes, and drug-using queers” (p. 50).

Notes: José Esteban Muñoz, “Feeling Brown: Ethnicity and Affect in Ricardo Brancho’s ‘The Sweetest Hangover (And Other STDs)'”

Muñoz, José Esteban. (2000). Feeling brown: Ethnicity and affect in Ricardo Bracho’s “The Sweetest Hangover (And Other STDs)”. Theatre Journal, 52(1), 67-79.

Summary:

Muñoz looks at Ricardo Brancho’s “The Sweetest Hangover” to show ethnicity as in-process as the performance of affects.

Keywords: affect, bodies, citizenship, critical race theory, culture, embodiment, ethnicity, performance studies, utopianism

Sources:

Alarcón, Norma. (1996). Conjugating subjects in the age of multiculturalism. in Avery F. Gordon & Christopher Newfield (eds.) Mapping multiculturalism. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 127-48.

Quotations:

“Latino, a term meant to enable much-needed coalitions between different national groups, has not developed as an umbrella term that unites cultural and political activists across different national, racial, class, and gender divides. This problem has to do with its incoherence, by which I mean the term’s inability to index, with any regularity, the central identity tropes that lead to our understandings of group identities in the United States” (p. 67).

“To be cognizant of one’s status as an identity-in-difference is to know that one falls off majoritarian maps of the public sphere, that one is exiled from paradigms of communicative reason and a larger culture of consent. This exile is more like a displacement, the origin of which is a historically specific and culturally situated bias that blocks the Latina/o citizen subject’s trajectory to “official” citizenship-subject political ontology” (p. 68).

“This blockage is one that keeps the Latina/o citizen-subject from being able to access normativity, playing out as an inability to perform racialized normativity. A key component of my thesis is the contention that normativity is accessed in the majoritarian public sphere through the affective performance of ethnic and racial normativity” (p. 68).

“This theoretical formulation, ‘dreaming of other planets,’ represents the type of Utopian planning, scheming, imaging, and performing we must engage in if we are to enact other realities, other ways of being and doing within the world. The play, like the poem, does not only dream of other spaces but of other modes of perceiving reality and ‘feeling’ the world” (p. 74).

“This analysis has posited ethnicity as ‘a structure of feeling,’ as a way of being in the world, a path that does not conform to the conventions of a majoritarian public sphere and the national affect it sponsors. It is my hope that thinking of latinidad in this way will help us better analyze the obstacles that must be negotiated within the social for the minoritarian citizen-subject” (p. 79).