The Currency of Victimhood in Uncanny Homes: Queer Immigrants’ Claims for Home and Belonging Through Anti-Homophobic Organising

Citation:

Kuntsman, Adi. 2009. “The Currency of Victimhood in Uncanny Homes: Queer Immigrants’ Claims for Home and Belonging Through Anti-Homophobic Organising.” Journal of Ethnic & Migration Studies 35 (1): 133–49.

Author: Adi Kuntsman

Abstract:

This paper is based on an ethnographic study of Russian-speaking queer immigrants in Israel and, in particular, on their organising against homophobia. The paper follows the queer immigrants' claims that the homophobic attacks they experience are similar to anti-Semitism and the persecution of Jews by the Nazis. Engaging with Freud's notion of the double as uncanny, I trace the relations of doubleness and substitution between two figures: the humiliated homosexual and the persecuted Jew. What does it mean, I ask, that injuries of homophobia are compared to injuries of anti-Semitism? What does it mean that Jewish immigrants in Israel claim that they are persecuted 'just like the Jews'? Throughout the paper I explore questions of migration and sexuality, as well as issues of Israeli nationalism and the currency of victimhood in claims for national belonging.

Topics: LGBTQ, Nationalism, Religion, Sexuality Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Israel

Year: 2009

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