Black/Queer Here & There

Jafari Allen
11/13/2013

How do we best see, and say today– in the wake of anthropology’s much storied crisis of representation; attempted corrections following movements of ‘Third World’ peoples, women, and queer folks; the recent disavowal of 1980s and 1990s reflexivity and experimentation; and what Marcus has recently termed a contemporary “crisis of reception.” What sort of moment is this to raise the question of Black/queer desire, in the context of here and there? If, as Tsing contends, transnational “friction… is the grip of a worldly encounter” what happens when we finally encounter the world through a multiply constituted lens of race, gender, nation and sexuality? Black/Queer Here & There presents “a moving picture of a world that doesn’t stand still, that reveals itself (and likewise, individuals who reveal themselves, and change themselves) en route” (Clifford) — showing how a cross-section of Black (and) queer, travelers, artists, intellectuals, political activists, and regular folks imagine and practice ‘here’ and ‘there’ in the Americas. Here we trace and highlight the operations of desire in translocal Black LGBTQ politics and culture — providing new perspectives, which require a re-focusing of social theory, and a re-signification of social/cultural anthropology’s ways of seeing and saying.

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