Local/National/Transnational Queer Interactions, Part 4: Governmentality and LGBT Lives

AHA Session 233
Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History 9
Sunday, January 5, 2014: 8:30 AM-10:30 AM
Delaware Suite A (Marriott Wardman Park)
David Serlin, University of California, San Diego

Session Abstract

Recent works such as Margot Canaday's The Straight State (2011) have brought new attention to the ways in which governmental policies, administration, and enforcement simultaneously shape identities of the state and the intimate lives, identities, and political aspirations of LGBT people. This panel, attentive to the location of the conference in Washington, D.C., seeks to push queer analysis of governmentality in new directions, both in the U.S. and far beyond. Emily Skidmore's paper discusses the ways in which three female-bodied men navigated the immigration apparatuses of the early 20th-century U.S. state. Anita Andrea Kurimay's paper takes a long view of the deliberate silencing of non-normative sexualities by the Hugarian state across various political systems throughout the 20th century in order to understand their effects on contemporary politics of sexuality there. Steve Estes explores the vexed attempts by U.S. gay activists to link the African American civil rights movement to the struggle for full participation in the American military throughout the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" era. Finally, Amy Harris engages in a geneology of South Africa's contemporary debates surounding same-sex marriage by tracing that nation's long, complex history in managing LGBT people and anti-gay discrimination. Each paper highlights the debates and tensions bound into any attempt to link LGBT histories, freedoms, and love to the state. 

This panel is part of the Committee on LGBT History’s special 2014 thematic series related to political history, “Local/National/Transnational Queer Interactions.”

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