From Homoerotics of Exile to Homopolitics of Diaspora: Cyberspace, the War on Terror, and the Hypervisible Iranian Queer

Citation:

Shakhsari, Sima. 2012. “From Homoerotics of Exile to Homopolitics of Diaspora: Cyberspace, the War on Terror, and the Hypervisible Iranian Queer.” Journal of Middle East Women's Studies 8 (3): 14-40.

Author: Sima Shakhsari

Abstract:

In this essay, I argue that during the post-September 11th “war on terror,” the Iranian homosexual became transferred from the position of the abject to the representable subject in transnational political realms. This shift involves Iranian opposition groups, transnational media, the “gay international” (in the words of Joseph A. Massad), and some Iranian diasporic queers who willingly insert themselves into national imaginations of the opposition in diasporic reterritorializations. This hypervisibility is enabled by massive mobilizations of universalized sexual identities on the Internet, discourses of protectorship, valorizations of mobility in cyberspace and diasporic imaginations, and the political and economic opportunities for neoliberal entrepreneurship and expertise during the war on terror. In this process, the normative Iranian homosexual is produced as a victim of backward homophobic Iranian-ness, awaiting representation and liberation by new media technologies, while the Iranian citizen is disciplined through cybergovernmentality as a heterosexual subject who is expected to reject tradition, tolerate or defend homosexuals, and avoid perversion.

Topics: Conflict, Ethnicity, Media, LGBTQ, Sexuality Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq

Year: 2012

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