Professor Jasbir Puar of Rutgers University gave an interesting lecture yesterday at Cornell University, in which she discussed her forthcoming book, Queer Biopolitics: Terror and the Ascendancy of Whiteness. Puar -- whose academic interests include ethnic studies, feminism, and sexuality -- addressed some very unique topics worthy of further examination and debate. Indeed, Puar described her book as an exploration into the “intersections of sexuality and the war on terror, specifically how some [lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgendered and questioning individuals] are complicit with nationalist, racist, and orientalist politics of the U.S.”
From the description of her lecture, I was most fascinated by her discussion of perceived racial identity and homosexual identity in the context of the post-9/11 backlash. According to the article, Puar, "said that if a guy wearing a turban is the victim of a hate crime and it also turns out he’s gay, one must analyze what identity his attackers intended to target.... [H]is Arab identity is associated with terrorists and 9/11, while harems and a mystique of hypersexuality are associated with his sexual identity." This question is important not only for identity purposes, but also for the prosecution of hate crimes.
Puar became interested in this subject matter after "notic[ing] a big vacuum around sexuality and the war on terror and around gender and the war on terror." I look forward to reading more from Puar and hope she continues to advance scholarship in this novel area.
DNSI direct link 0 comments Email post: