Monthly Archives: June 2013

Supreme Court strikes down DOMA, overturn of Prop. 8 upheld

Jun 26, 2013, 10:23am EDT Updated: Jun 26, 2013, 11:23am EDT ~  

The U.S. Supreme Court today gave same-sex marriage supporters a pair of victories, starting with the ruling that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.The court also cleared the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California. It left a lower-court ruling overturning Proposition 8 — a ballot initiative banning same-sex marriage — stand, but it declined to rule on the broader question of whether gay couples have a Constitutional right to marry.The 5-4 ruling on the DOMA case means same-sex couples who are married are entitled to the same benefits under federal as heterosexual couples. Previously, the federal law denied federal benefits, such as filing joint tax returns and receiving Social Security survivor benefits, to same-sex couples who marry in states where gay marriage is legal. “DOMA’s unconstitutional – we’re all Americans today,” said Ben Takai, a Washington, D.C., resident who was among the hundreds of people gathered outside the court waiting for the rulings. California’s Proposition 8, a ballot initiative that defined marriage as being between a man and a woman, was passed by voters in 2008 in response to a state Supreme Court decision that had legalized same-sex marriage. Two gay couples then filed a lawsuit, contending Proposition 8 denied them their 14th Amendment rights to due process and equal protection under the law.


Since the Notes page won’t allow me to paste questions about the Chen aritcle, here goes:

The first three questions I will conclude with serve to summarize the end of Chen’s argument.  The final three attempt to speak to the beginning of Chen’s essay.


1. Chen writes, “And how is it that we are doing this, doing all this, to ourselves? Yet even as the toxins them- selves spread far and wide, such a “we” is a false unity. There are those who find themselves on the underside of industrial “development” (276).  How might impoverished communities, here and abroad be “queer?”  How might these communities fit into the framework of intersectionality?  Of assemblages?



2. Chen writes, “The kinds of bonds that link these groups, bonds that are recognized in the potent affinities of transnational labor and immigrant activism, have been laid there from without, to suture and reinforce multiple transnational systems of racialization, labor hierarchy, and capital — and ultimately of affection or nonaffection. These groups are industrial- ization’s canaries” (276).  The canary metaphor has also been used to describe the ways homonormative communities in the U. S. serve as the vanguard for gentrification.  What do you make of this?


3. Chen gets into a particularly complex area at the very end, writing, “For would not my nonproductivity, my nonhuman sociality, render me some other human’s “dead” — as certainly it has, in case after case of the denial of disabled existence, emotional life, sexuality, or subjectivity? Or must couches be cathected differently from humans? Or do only certain couches deserve the attribution of a (sexual) fetish? These are only questions to which I have no ready answers, except to declare that those forms of exceptionalism no longer seem reasonable.”  Is Chen advocating for a new subjectivity of the object?  Are the fetish communities to become one of the assemblage communities?


4. Chen writes, “I . . . consider how vulnerability, safety, immunity, threat, and toxicity itself are sexu- ally and racially instantiated in the recent panic about lead content in Chinese- manufactured toys exported to the United States” (266).  How might gendered ideas about Chinese bodies also be instantiated in this this discourse?


5. Chen writes that she plans to: “interweave biopolitical considerations of immunity into an account of the peculiar intimacies and alienations of heavy metal poisoning, rendered in the first person” (265).  How does this move toward “authenticity” support Chen’s assertion that the toxic body becomes “queered?”


6. Chen writes that part of her project is to “investigate the potential to resignify toxicity as a theoretical figure, in the interest of inviting contradictory play and crediting queer bonds already here: the living dead, the dead living, antisocial love, and inanimate affection” (266).  How does each of Chen’s four designations play within Queer theory discourse?


Presentation schedule

Here is a schedule for our final presentations!

1. Transnational Queer Imaginaries
Elizabeth Jacoby “Power and Performativity in David Henry Hwang’s, M. Butterfly”
Maria Kranidis, “Queer Imaginaries: Queer Performances in Other Places.”
Rachael Warmington, “Representations of Female Histories in Queer Diasporic Texts and Film.”

2. Queered Life Narratives of Gender, Race, and Place
Kathryn Allen, “Queer Space and Home”
Jill Hummel, “Childbirth in the Closet: Struggles of Power and Opposition in the Delivery Room”
Treasure Redmond, “The Booty Don’t Lie: Radical Coalitions Between Queer Women of Color and the Straight Women Who Love Them”

3. Popular Culture and Queer Normativities
Joseph Spece, “RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE and Popular Export of the Metronormative Aesthetic”
Lauren Shoemaker, “Sex at Work:  Desire, Privacy, and the Color of the Collar.””
Tom Powers, “Queer Hearts Resurrected: The Socially Corrupted Undead Bodies of In the Flesh”

4. Queer Pedagogies
Nick Shaner, “Queer Pedagogies for the American Renaissance”
Tim Kirk, “Towards a Queer Pedagogy: Exploring Queer Fictional Landscapes”
Susan Petrole, “”Know Thyself”: A Human-Normative Course on Queer Theory”

talk by Puar

Here is a recent talk by Puar titled “Homonationalism Gone Viral: Discipline, Control, and the Affective Politics of Sensation”

This is an hour and 40 minutes long and I haven’t watched it yet, but it looks pretty great.