Queer Asia’s Body without Organs: In the Making of Queer/Decolonial Politics

Lee, Po-Han (2019) Queer Asia’s Body without Organs: In the Making of Queer/Decolonial Politics. In: Luther, J Daniel and Loh, Jennifer Ung (eds.) Queer Asia: decolonising and reimagining sexuality and gender. Zed Books, London. ISBN 9781786995827

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Drawing on the observations from the 6th ILGA-Asia Conference in 2015 as well as both Queer Asia Conferences in 2016 and 2017 at the SOAS, University of London, ‘Queer Asia’ may have a three-fold connotation: queers in Asia; queerness of Asia(ns); and to queer Asia(ness). They indicate, respectively yet simultaneously, the temporal-spatiality, epistemology and assemblage of two intelligible Bodies of queer and Asian studies. This essay first reflects the aforementioned meanings in situ, identifying three primary elements of Queer Asia; that is, how to make queer studies more Asian, how to make Asian studies more queer, and how to transform ‘Asia’ with queer critiques. Considering many doubts regarding the political utility of ‘queerness’ cast by activists I interviewed before, particular attention is given to the last element. This essay then inquire into the intellectual curiosity about ‘what makes queer theory practical in Asia’ and ‘what makes Asia critical of queer theory’. Everything is and should be political, but, following Deleuze and Guattari’s (1987:213) contention, ‘every politics is simultaneously a macropolitics and a micropolitics’. I thus argue that, for Queer Asia, there is no queer-friendly or -hostile Asia; there are Asias in terms of macropolitics. Queer Asia is not just a prima facie Body, constructed and functioned by the existence of sexual and gender diversity. It also serves, deriving from the variable positions of Asian societies concerning international sexuality norm polarisation, to challenge the concept of ‘Asia’ as a stable regional geopolitical reference. Meanwhile, ‘Queer Asia’, as a body without organs, is permeated by flows in all directions in its micropolitics. Yet, all the disorientations are however politically useful for both academic and activist communities, if not necessarily in the conventional sense of solidarity, to animate queer coalitional politics between and beyond Asias.

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Research Centres and Groups: Sussex Asia
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology > HM0481 Theory. Method. Relations to other subjects
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Po-Han Lee
Date Deposited: 17 May 2019 11:58
Last Modified: 17 May 2019 11:58
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/83093

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