Kelly's presentation on homonationalism
Judith Butler...as a troublemaker (my notes)
The Event: Judith Butler refuses the civil courage award at Berlin Pride. Why?
Watch the following youtube clip:
- What is the relationship between social justice and queer movement/queering practices? How is queer movement/practices connected to other social justice movements?
- What is the significance of Butler's refusal for queer/ing politics? How is she a troublemaker?
- Reactions?--in "Where Now?" they write:
As the event enfolds, and is produced as both newsworthy and worthy of scholarly attention, discussions have tended to focus on Butler as a person rather than the issues at hand, or at stake. This again threatens to sideline queer and trans people of colour in Germany, whose struggle may seem a little too far away for some to attend to in its own right.
- About 2 minutes and 50 seconds in, A. Davis talks about a "terrain of struggle" and the value of always asking questions. What does she mean by the terrain of struggle? What sorts of queer questions can/should we be asking? What questions does Butler's refusal and all of the important work by activists and theorists of color leading up to that refusal prompt us to ask?
In her refusal speech, Butler applies the idea of homonationalism to Europe (particularly Berlin), arguing that anti-immigrant discourses are being used (wittingly and unwittingly) by gay and lesbian groups to mobilize their members. Immigrants, often Muslin immigrants, are presented as a serious threat to gay/lesbian rights. In her official refusal, Butler writes:
We all have noticed that gay, bisexual, lesbian, trans and queer people can be instrumentalized by those who want to wage wars, i.e. cultural wars against migrants by means of forced islamophobia and military wars against Iraq and Afghanistan. In these times and by these means, we are recruited for nationalism and militarism. Currently, many European governments claim that our gay, lesbian, queer rights must be protected and we are made to believe that the new hatred of immigrants is necessary to protect us.
SUSPECT offers many examples of how homonationalism works in Berlin and why Butler rejected the award. After describing many instances of demonizing/criminalzing migrants and youth of color, they conclude:
It is this tendency of white gay politics, to replace a politics of solidarity, coalitions and radical transformation with one of criminalization, militarization and border enforcement, which Butler scandalizes, also in response to the critiques and writings of queers of colour.
Note: In Where Now?, they reference Andrea Smith's essay about surviving in the academic industrial complex. Check out my blog post about this essay.
Here's something that I tweeted a couple of minutes ago:
Return blog worksheets and briefly discuss