We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Most of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Dr. Emma Pérez Speaks at CSUN

by kualyque Thursday, Mar. 31, 2005 at 11:11 AM

Dr. Emma Pérez, Chair of the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and author of The Decolonial Imaginary: Writing Chicanas Into History, and Gulf Dreams, gave a lecture titled “Decolonial Queer Theory” at California State University, Northridge, on Thursday, March 17.

Dr. Emma Pérez, Chair of the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and author of The Decolonial Imaginary: Writing Chicanas Into History, and Gulf Dreams, gave a lecture titled “Decolonial Queer Theory” at California State University, Northridge, on Thursday, March 17.

Emma Pérez’s presentation on decolonial queer theory focused mainly on her efforts to confront and deal with her frustration over the lack of a synthesis/survey of queer people of color theory. The presentation was a very stimulating and effective beginning of a dialogue toward remedying this issue. As such, she used the forum to present the key ideas and projects of several groundbreaking queer theorists and to demonstrate how these ideas overlap across the larger, deconstructive project of decoloniality, which seeks to make a way of challenging colonialist assumptions and cutting and seeing through white heteronormativity in the time lag between colonial and postcolonial existence (a space Pérez compares to Gloria Anzaldúa’s nepantla) in which Chican@s, Puertoriqueñ@s, First Nation, and other colonized peoples currently live. Along with her own work using the archeological approach to history she terms the “Decolonial Imaginary”, Pérez also spoke about the work of José Muñoz, Alicia Gaspar de Alba, and José Quiroga, and discussed David Halperin’s reading of “Saint” Foucault as a foundational text in establishing a synthesis of queer people of color theory because of its interest in exploring Michel Foucault’s focus on the production, and not the origins, of sexuality.

The key element in all of these theorists’ works seems to be an astute examination of how identity is constantly produced, negotiated, and performed by colonized and oppressed peoples in a colonial/oppressive situation. Understanding how people are able to not just survive, but to find ways of living, loving, and creating functioning, effective identities in dominated situations, is vital for obvious reasons. What Pérez made especially clear, though, was how the concept of production and reproduction applies not only to identity formation, but to racism, sexism, heterosexism, and other forms of oppression and domination ideology. Pérez spoke of her interest in exploring why these oppressions continue to be (re)produced, especially in war and coloniality, pointing to their performative nature and underscoring the effectiveness of countering with another kind of performativity that negotiates this reproduction with a resistant, (self-) conscious production/reproduction of identity.

Though Pérez didn’t bring them into this discussion, Dr. Chela Sandoval’s concepts of the “differential consciousness” in her work on the methodology of the oppressed could be a very useful tool in understanding how this performativity and negotiation can work in resistance. In fact, it was a little surprising that Pérez did not bring Sandoval’s ideas into the discussion, because they seem to provide a very effective model of resistance relevant to this discussion (see Sandoval, Methodology of the Oppressed, U of Minnesota P, 2000). Perhaps she wished to focus more on other theorists with whom we might not be as familiar.

Of the three theorists Pérez did discuss, the one whose idea was perhaps most interesting, but at the same time, most difficult to understand, was Muñoz, with his concept of “disidentification”. The basic premise seems to be that disidentification is a mode of responding to the dominant culture enacted as a performative negotiation in daily life by queer people of color. Muñoz, a teacher of Performance Arts at NYU, is interested in looking at the ways queer people of color constantly negotiate identity in response to dominant culture through the use of performance. He has developed a theoretical scheme describing how queers of color adopt racialized genders, and explores the “queer gaze”, which sees, acts, reinterprets and mocks everything, because in the white heteronormative mind, queer people of color are not seen. Pérez described how Muñoz’ “queer gaze” transforms the world where the white heteronormative mind erases queer people of color. Pérez noted that ultimately, disidentification may permit more cross-talk between queer theorists, an important goal in the context of Muñoz’ concerns with the apartheid of theoretical domains and ignorance of academics regarding third world theorists. In this, again, Muñoz’ ideas seem similar to Chela Sandoval’s, specifically, the “differential consciousness” which she posits as key to creating and maintaining effective coalitions and alliances and to addressing the academic apartheid that plagues the efforts of third world theorists. Muñoz is perhaps more specifically focused on queer identity, but his underlying premise and approach dovetail nicely with Sandoval’s own.

Pérez also talked about Alicia Gaspar de Alba’s concept of “Alter-Nativity”, a very useful idea in helping articulate the understanding of Chican@ culture as a parallel, alternative culture, rather than a “sub”-culture underneath the dominant. The linguistic depth of this term, which Pérez touched on briefly, exemplifies the best of what this writer sees as a kind of linguistic third-space “poetic terrorism” (author Hakim Bey’s term) practiced by Chican@s in their often highly subversive navigation of the dominant language and culture. More than just another sophisticated academic/theoretical term, “alter-nativity” invites a poetic archeological dig through overlapping and parallel layers of meaning and experience, thus simultaneously describing and exemplifying the Chican@ culture and art the term was designed to express.

Finally, Emma Pérez discussed José Quiroga’s work exploring the use of masks in queer identity performance. Specifically, she focused on Quiroga’s analysis of a gay pride march in Argentina in 1993, during which participants wore masks, thereby rupturing the border of the stage and in the process blurring and erasing boundaries of identity, performativity, and participation between marcher and audience, queer and “straight”, observer and observed, visible and invisible. Because of this effective breach of boundaries, Quiroga saw the use of open masking as a “brilliant tactical move.” Interestingly, Emma Pérez noted parallels between this open masking and a discussion she had conducted with queer students in El Paso, during which students suggested that open masking might be a useful tactic in mounting an unprecedented pride march in that city in a way that could maintain a higher level of safety for participants. Other interesting parallels and connections were suggested by an audience member at Pérez’ presentation who noted the use of masks by the Zapatistas, and their argument that by wearing masks, the invisible indigenous could now, paradoxically, be visible; this same audience member also noted the connection of masked performance with the demonstrations of las abuelas y madres de plaza de mayo against the disappearing of their men by Pinochet’s regime in Argentina.

Aside from her discussion of these theorists, Dr. Pérez also addressed the issue of the attacks on Ward Churchill, recently resigned Chair of the Department of Ethnic Studies (a position Dr. Pérez took over in the wake of Churchill’s resignation) at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Pérez identified the attacks as part of a larger plan by neo-conservatives to target ethnic, cultural, women’s, and queer studies professors and departments in academia. While ostensibly not entirely on topic, this information was chillingly relevant in light of Pérez’ mirror efforts to synthesize a comprehensive survey of decolonial queer theory. Being aware of and fully comprehending the well-planned, systematic attack on progressive academics underway by neo-conservatives is vital to grasping the urgency not only of Pérez’ call to formulate a synthesis of decolonial queer theory, but to stand up, fight, and defend our professors and programs from an attack that comes not coincidentally, as Pérez noted, at precisely the moment when more women and people of color than ever are successfully taking part in academia.
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM


lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

test O06 10:01AM

test O06 9:59AM

test O06 9:59AM

100 Ways GOP Have Stolen Elections Since 1876 O06 12:03AM

Proximospective de l'univocité réifiée O05 6:27AM

“Kava-no!!!” O04 6:42PM

Trump & Palestine vs. Genesis, Rashi & The Land of Israel O03 6:29PM

The Criminality of the Elites O03 11:35AM

Business de l'inhumanitaire O03 7:51AM

Marriage Rape/Date Rape Highest Rapes O02 2:59PM

Women I Know Get Raped - Too Many Times To Count! O02 2:55PM

Women In USA Have Stockholm Syndrom O02 2:50PM

Shooting Drill's Are Political Actual Shootings O02 2:47PM

Dr. Ford's Father Works With CIA O02 2:44PM

Weaponizing Frequencies O02 2:41PM

Google Abuses: Worldwide Spying, Censorship, War Promotion, Spying On Children, Etc O02 11:08AM

Paraphysique de l'administration O02 8:34AM

Paraphysique O02 8:31AM

Affordable Rents? A State of Emergency Intensifies O01 11:36AM

A Few Of Many Impeachable Acts by Trump Sessions And Others O01 4:41AM

Désengrammation, l'éloge de la suite S30 7:01AM

someone Should Work In Hollywood - Good Acting! S28 2:55PM

Ford Gives Psych Drugs To Lower Class To Shut Them Up? S28 2:51PM

Hilllary Calls Ford Trailer Trash? S28 2:47PM

Most Rapes Are In Marriages S28 2:43PM

Nice Boys Dirty Deeds S28 2:41PM

Minnesota 2nd Largest Rape State S28 2:39PM

Paraphysique de la plus-value S28 7:18AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy