Transnational Governmentality and the Politics of Life and Death

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One can ignore neither the role of diasporas nor colonial and imperial discourses of modernity in the construction of normative sexual identities and practices in the Middle East, whether in the past or the present. This is not to dismiss local forms of regulation, disciplining, and normalization of queers, but to point to the way that local state and nonstate norms of sexuality are not detached from global trends and transnational relationships of power. My own work on gender and sexuality within Iranian diasporic contexts engages with scholarship that postulates sexuality as a form of transnational governmentality and with analyses of homonationalism and necropolitics. I examine the representational economy of queer deaths during the war on terror and suggest that the Iranian transgender refugee, who has become a highly representable subject as a victim of Iranian transphobia in the civilizational discourses of the war on terror, dies an unspeakable death if her death disrupts the promise of freedom after flight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)340-342
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Journal of Middle East Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013


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