Dr. Gayatri Gopinath – Unruly Visions: The Aesthetic Practices of Queer Diaspora

Critical Studies in Sexuality with the Jane Rule Endowment for the Study of Human Relationships, and the Social Justice Institute present:


Dr. Gayatri Gopinath
Unruly Visions: The Aesthetic Practices of Queer Diaspora

Sept 23, 12-1pm
Liu Institute for Global Issues
Multipurpose Room, 6476 NW Marine Drive


This event is free and open to the public. RSVP’s are not required to attend, only encouraged.
Lunch will be provided!

ABSTRACT: What alternative model of visuality does the spatial/epistemic formation of queer diaspora offer? How does this model of queer visuality transform our understanding of time and space, history and memory? To answer these questions, I identify what I term “the aesthetic practices of queer diaspora”: these are aesthetic practices that engage the visual register and that negotiate diasporic movement in multiple geographic locations. These practices work within the visual field in order to point to that which the visual field cannot accommodate. As such, they gesture to realms outside and beyond the visual, and turn instead to the sensorial and the affective as conduits for apprehending the intertwined nature of seemingly disparate historical formations. I focus in particular on the work of Australian indigenous artist Tracey Moffatt, alongside that of Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari, to identify how the aesthetic practices of queer diaspora place in the same frame different histories of dispossession and displacement, colonialism and racialization – without rendering them equivalent.



Dr. GAYATRI GOPINATH is Associate Professor and Director of the Asian/Pacific/American Studies Program in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University. She is the author of Impossible Desires: Queer Diasporas and South Asian Public Cultures (Duke University Press, 2005), and has published articles on gender, sexuality and South Asian diasporic culture in numerous anthologies and in journals such as GLQ, Social Text, positions, and Diaspora. She is currently completing a new project tentatively entitled Promiscuous Intimacies: The Aesthetic Practices of Queer Diaspora, on queer visuality and its reframings of time and space. Her recent book chapters related to this project include: “Who’s Your Daddy? Queer Diasporic Reframings of the Region,” in The Sun Never Sets: South Asians in the Age of US Empire, eds. Vivek Bald et al, (NYU Press, 2013); “Archive, Affect and the Everyday: Queer Diasporic Re-Visions” in Political Emotions, eds. Ann Cvetkovich et al (Routledge 2010) and “Queer Regions: Locating Lesbians in Sancharram,” in The Blackwell Companion to LGBT Studies, edited by Molly McGarry and George Haggerty (Blackwell, 2007).


This event is co-sponsored by Critical Studies in Sexuality and the Jane Rule Endowment for the Study of Human Relationships.