Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Professor Roderick A. Ferguson and Dr. Rahul Rao in a Doing Gender and PCI Lecture Series

Roderick A. Ferguson (University of Illinois at Chicago, USA): ‘Queer of Color Critique and the Engagement with Western Marxism’
This presentation will address the effort to fashion queer of color critique as a different version of historical materialism. In this sense, queer of color critique both located itself within historical materialism and attempted to reshape historical materialism, making what Althusser described as “the science of social formation” into an intersectional analysis of race, gender, sexuality, and political economy. As such, queer of color critique would be presented as both an engagement with and an eschewal of Western Marxism. The talk will attempt to demonstrate this intent by revisiting Aberrations in Black and publications by other authors and critics who have helped to produce a materialist shift in the field of queer studies.

Rahul Rao (SOAS University London, UK): ‘Queer in the Time of Homocapitalism’
In recent years, leading institutions of global capitalism have begun to take activist stances against homophobia. For example, in response to Uganda’s passage of an Anti Homosexuality Act, the World Bank withheld a $90 million loan that was due to have been disbursed to the country. Like a number of multinational corporations, the Bank has also become invested in quantifying the “economic cost” of homophobia so as to make a “business case” for LGBT rights. Why have these institutions begun to inveigh against homophobia and why have they done so now? What are the terms on which the figure of the queer has come to be embraced as an object of concern by the global development industry and as a potential “stakeholder” by the business world? What understandings of “homophobia” underpin the putative “business case” against it? In addressing these questions, I shall attempt to offer a political economy of “homophobia” as it expresses itself in contemporary Uganda; in doing so, I hope to make visible the implication of the Bank in the production of the very affects that it now purports to oppose.

Practical information:
Date: May 18, 2017
Time: 11.00 – 12.30 hrs
Location: Drift 25, room 1.02
Chair: Rosemarie Buikema & Gianmaria Colpani
Registration via email is compulsory.

More information here.