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Reframed Queerness in Contemporary Francophone Writing from the Maghreb

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Date(s) - 05/10/2021
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

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Brunei University London


Brunel Research Festival presents an Open Lecture with Professor William Spurlin

Transnational, global, and border studies have helped to challenge a preoccupation with discrete geopolitical and territorial demarcations of state sovereignty, and studies of societies and cultures that are primarily state-centred, through generating new analyses of mobilities, border crossings, and cross-border negotiations, given that the world has become increasingly composed of relational networks rather than only fixed spaces. While transnational processes, globalisation, and migratory movement continue to produce multiple forms of biopolitical domination within and across geopolitical borders, the concomitant deconstruction and delocalisation of borders is similarly producing radical transformations of political subjectivity, citizenship, and sovereignty no longer confined to the borders of the nation-state. Geopolitical borders, similar to symbolic or discursive borders, are constructed entities operating as shifting, relational sites of power, negotiation, and struggle, and are part of a larger network of discursive practices that create meanings, norms, and values that shape everyday life. This lecture theorises the queer potential of the indeterminate spaces between nations, cultures, languages, bodies, and temporalities where the space ‘in between’ destabilises categories assumed to be given on either side of the virgule in binary thinking, calling attention to new sites heterogeneity and productions of difference. To what extent are geopolitical borders self-evident markers of difference, territorial and otherwise, that create socio-spatial distinctions between places and groups, or to what extent are they invented, permeable markers of division, subject to reconfiguration and shifts of meaning for different actors who may cross them? Further, to what extent do the contours of the self shift through various crossings of geopolitical and symbolic borders, such as those between racial, gender, sexual, ethnic, and class categories, and how does this engender processes of rebordering of self and place?

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