Cover of Gayatri Gopinath's book Unruly Visions: The Aesthetic Practices of Queer Diaspora. Cover contains a black and white image by Akram Zaatari, "Abed, a tailor. Madani’s parents’ home, the studio, 1948–53,” from Hashem El Madani: Studio Practices

Unruly Visions: The Aesthetic Practices of Queer Diaspora

Author: Gayatri Gopinath

Duke University Press, 2018

Perverse Modernity Series

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In Unruly Visions,Gayatri Gopinath brings queer studies to bear on studies of diaspora and visuality, tracing the interrelation of affect, archive, region, and aesthetics through an examination of a wide range of contemporary queer visual culture. Spanning film, fine art, poetry, and photography, these cultural forms—which Gopinath conceptualizes as aesthetic practices of queer diaspora—reveal the intimacies of seemingly disparate histories of (post)colonial dwelling and displacement and are a product of diasporic trajectories.

Countering standard formulations of diaspora that inevitably foreground the nation-state, as well as familiar formulations of queerness that ignore regional gender and sexual formations, she stages unexpected encounters between work by South Asian, Middle Eastern, African, Australian, and Latinx artists such as Tracey Moffatt, Akram Zaatari, and Allan deSouza.

Gopinath shows how their art functions as regional queer archives that express alternative understandings of time, space, and relationality. The queer optic produced by these visual practices create south-to-south, region-to-region, and diaspora-to-region cartographies that profoundly challenge disciplinary and area studies rubrics.

Gopinath thereby provides new critical perspectives on settler colonialism, empire, military occupation, racialization, and diasporic dislocation as they indelibly mark both bodies and landscapes.

*Book description from publisher

Cover of Gayatri Gopinath's book Unruly Visions: The Aesthetic Practices of Queer Diaspora. Cover contains a black and white image by Akram Zaatari, "Abed, a tailor. Madani’s parents’ home, the studio, 1948–53,” from Hashem El Madani: Studio Practices