Title

The Unhappy Terrorist: Homonationalism, Empire, and the 'War on Terror'

Lead Author Major

English

Format

Oral Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Jeffrey Hole

Faculty Mentor Department

English

Abstract/Artist Statement

This paper focuses on the function of discourses surrounding gender and sexuality within the framework of U.S. and Israeli nationalism. I will highlight how homonormative nationalism helps solidify on-going settler-colonialism by shifting focus from occupation to the liberation of LGBT people. I will further argue how contemporary queer politics draw lines between the unhappy Orient and the liberated Occident – defining the modes of modernity. In “The Gray Zone,” Seymour Hersh highlights how the U.S. military made use of anthropological texts, such as The Arab Mind to determine effective torture methods (e.g. sexual torture and sexual) showing how the use of sexuality to torture are not isolated events but are well-researched tactics. The current climate of LGBT discourses in both U.S. and Israel contributes to this subjugation of Muslim men – their depiction as people who are more vulnerable to sexual abuse by other men because of their “backward” understanding of sexuality. In “Trending Homonationalism” Natalie Kouri-Towe states “like Orientalism, homonationalism speaks to the ways global powers [such as the U.S. and Israel] circulate ideas about other cultures [like Arab and Islamic cultures] in order produce the West as culturally, morally, and politically advanced and superior. However, unlike Orientalism, homonationalism speaks particularly to the way gender and sexual rights discourses become central to contemporary forms of Western hegemony.” Exploring this orientalist homonormative nationalism and by drawing from Jasbir Puar’s Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times I will argue that the current liberal interest in queer liberation and LGBT rights discourse is used to maintain U.S./Israeli settler colonies while helping justify and solidify various forms of occupations, racist ideology, and imperial projects.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Room 211

Start Date

26-4-2014 9:00 AM

End Date

26-4-2014 12:00 PM

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Apr 26th, 9:00 AM Apr 26th, 12:00 PM

The Unhappy Terrorist: Homonationalism, Empire, and the 'War on Terror'

DeRosa University Center, Room 211

This paper focuses on the function of discourses surrounding gender and sexuality within the framework of U.S. and Israeli nationalism. I will highlight how homonormative nationalism helps solidify on-going settler-colonialism by shifting focus from occupation to the liberation of LGBT people. I will further argue how contemporary queer politics draw lines between the unhappy Orient and the liberated Occident – defining the modes of modernity. In “The Gray Zone,” Seymour Hersh highlights how the U.S. military made use of anthropological texts, such as The Arab Mind to determine effective torture methods (e.g. sexual torture and sexual) showing how the use of sexuality to torture are not isolated events but are well-researched tactics. The current climate of LGBT discourses in both U.S. and Israel contributes to this subjugation of Muslim men – their depiction as people who are more vulnerable to sexual abuse by other men because of their “backward” understanding of sexuality. In “Trending Homonationalism” Natalie Kouri-Towe states “like Orientalism, homonationalism speaks to the ways global powers [such as the U.S. and Israel] circulate ideas about other cultures [like Arab and Islamic cultures] in order produce the West as culturally, morally, and politically advanced and superior. However, unlike Orientalism, homonationalism speaks particularly to the way gender and sexual rights discourses become central to contemporary forms of Western hegemony.” Exploring this orientalist homonormative nationalism and by drawing from Jasbir Puar’s Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times I will argue that the current liberal interest in queer liberation and LGBT rights discourse is used to maintain U.S./Israeli settler colonies while helping justify and solidify various forms of occupations, racist ideology, and imperial projects.