Monday, 24 December 2012

Queer Culture and Dissidence in Turkey

Earlier this year, Cuneyt Cakirlar published an edited collection (with Serkan Delice) which explored queer culture in Turkey. 

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The book aims to challenge heteronormativity, compulsory heterosexuality and homo/transphobic violence in Turkey by investigating local historical and cultural narratives, social practices and forms of relationality in creative, dissident and queer ways. It interrogates the possibilities of an alternative critical practice that defies heteronormativity and its “partners in crime”, namely neoliberalism, nationalism, militarism and religious conservatism in contemporary Turkey. The critical agenda of this study is not only informed by a liberal human rights discourse that relies on sexual identity categories and identity politics. It is also inspired by sexual multitudes and ambiguities inherent within the local and historical cultural texture. Invoking unique possibilities of the local, this project looks at the ways in which the global travel of Western sexual identity categories and theories transform and assimilate local cultural forms of sexual subjectivity. While it questions the validity and applicability of categories and theories, this book also argues that the critical stance towards global sexual identity categories should not turn into an “authenticity fetishism”. Global sexual identity categories and Western theories can be appropriated critically and strategically, for different purposes, in different contexts. Rather than seeing the travel of global theories and categories as a hierarchical, single-dimensional imposition, this collection of essays suggests a reciprocal interaction always changing and transforming both the local and the global.

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