From Identity to Precarity: Asylum, State Violence, and Alternative Horizons for Queer Citizenship
A Talk with David K. Seitz
This talk puts queer theory’s “subjectless critique” of identity to work in challenging the state’s biopolitical use of essential, authentic identities in asylum law and practice. It both builds on and departs from existing scholarship that calls on state actors to recognize a wider range of forms of gender and sexual diversity that make people vulnerable to persecution. By contrast, I investigate how the practices of “destination” countries produce asylums-seekers as dispossessed, deportable, precarious queers -- regardless of sexual identity or practice. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork with asylum-seekers and their supporters in Toronto, I highlight the waiting room as one type of material and metaphorical space that produces asylum-seekers as liminal queer subjects. I argue that approaching queerness as precarity, rather than lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender identity or even sexual and gender diversity, provides alternative and expansive ethical horizons for queer and migration politics.
David K. Seitz is a cultural geographer broadly interested in questions of desire, difference, and citizenship. He is assistant professor of cultural geography at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California, and contributes to the Intercollegiate Feminist Center and the American Studies program at the Claremont Colleges. His first book A House of Prayer for All People: Contesting Citizenship in a Queer Church was released in November by the University of Minnesota Press. An urban ethnography that centrally engages geographies of citizenship, queer of color critique, and psychoanalytic theory, the book examines the politics of urban, national and transnational solidarity at a large, predominantly LGBTQ church in Toronto.
"Illustration by Annie Mok, courtesy of Mask magazine."
Eat and discover with David K. Seitz!
- 12:30-2 p.m.
- BSIA Multipurpose Room 142
- Free Event.
A light lunch will be served.
Please RSVP on Eventbrite: Identity
Note: We will hold your registration until 12:20 p.m. After 12:20 p.m. your spot will be released to the wait list. A reminder that free parking is available on the streets surrounding the CIGI Campus, in the museum lot across Erb St. and in the Uptown Waterloo Plaza parking lots. Please enter the School through the Erb Street doors.
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