This talk draws from Gayatri Gopinath’s Unruly Visions: The Aesthetic Practices of Queer Diaspora (2018), which examines queer visual aesthetic practices that negotiate diasporic movement in multiple geographic locations. These practices suggest possibilities of moving through these spaces that deviate from and suspend the straight lines of heteronormative and homonormative scripts that typically determine one’s life trajectory. The aesthetic practices of queer diaspora disrupt the normative ways of seeing, and hence knowing, that are the legacy of colonial modernity, and that have been so central to the production, containment, and disciplining of sexual, racial, and gendered bodies. Gopinath focuses on how these practices produce new forms of queer sociality that render apparent the intimacies of our conjoined pasts and potential futures.
Gayatri Gopinath is Associate Professor in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, and the Director of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at New York University. She works at the intersection of transnational feminist and queer studies, postcolonial studies, and diaspora studies, and is the author of the monographs Unruly Visions: The Aesthetic Practices of Queer Diaspora (2018) and Impossible Desires: Queer Diasporas and South Asian Public Cultures (2005). She has published numerous essays on gender, sexuality, and queer diasporic cultural production in journals such as Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, GLQ, Social Text, and positions.