Session Abstract: This panel explores how racialized/sexualized/gendered labor and capitalism reconfigure geopolitics, processes of empire making, and local formations of resistance in Asia and the transpacific. Alan Williams’ paper historicizes “imperial queering” in early-20th-c. discourses of sexual degeneration and sexology that were formative for the postwar projects of liberal-pluralism and the US-Japan partnership, including post-Cold War homonationalism. Christopher T. Fan’s presentation focuses on present-day US-China tensions. Drawing from documentaries and other forms of cultural production, he offers an account of how US-China political economy and orientalist racialization interact vis-a-vis “homoglobalist” affective relations. Shana Ye’s presentation focuses on her science fiction work-in-progress, in which Cultural Revolution-era gay men are abducted by 23rd-c. “Chimericans.” Ye’s story explores the projected relationship between US-China interdependency and the commodification of sexually and racially marginalized others as the extension of neocolonialism, problematizing the concept of “queer” as antinormative by arguing that such a construction perpetuates racial inequality and economic violence. Finally, Shuxuan Zhou’s paper connects the itineraries of migrant Chinese sex workers in the US to the globalized “made in China” production chain. Zhou’s analysis of these migrants in comparison to the activism of black trans sex workers reveals contradictions in the discourse of trafficking, as well as epistemological and juridical contradictions between each racialized group.
Paper Presenter: Shana Ye – University of Toronto
Paper Presenter: Alan Williams – University of Washington
Paper Presenter: Christopher Tzechung Fan – University of California, Irvine
Paper Presenter: Shuxuan Zhou – Seattle Office for Civil Rights