Archiving against queer nostalgia

This lecture takes issue with the archiving fever that is occurring in wider (whiter) queer communities, which follows the logics of murderous inclusion.

In the wake of the debates about homonationalism, homonormativity and gay imperialism, the question “How or does queer remain insurgent?” at times resembles a search for innocent genealogies. The AIDS crisis, the Nazi past and Stonewall become figures of a queer nostalgia (Haritaworn 2015) which, rather than running from the murderous past, actively seeks it out as a site of queer regeneration. This lecture takes issue with the archiving fever that is occurring in wider (whiter) queer communities, which follows the logics of murderous inclusion.

While many curators desire diversity, the archive itself (both in a Mbembian and a Saidian sense) stays white, and loyally repetitive of a colonial archive that remains obsessed with Others’ sexual and gender transgressions –  then not cis-heteropatriarchal enough, now too patriarchal, homophobic and transphobic. The lecture juxtaposes this queer nostalgia with current archiving attempts in queer and trans Black, Indigenous and people of colour (QTBIPOC) communities in Toronto, whose hunger for history takes place in a very different context: of settler colonialism, border imperialism, and the aftermath of slavery; of ongoing displacement, dispossession and genocide; and of several decades of QTBIPOC art and activism which continue to prefigure futures in the face of periodical erasure, burnout and premature death.

Wednesday 23 November 18.00 to 19.00, Linköping Konsert & Kongress, Garden

Jin Haritaworn, Assistant Professor in Gender, Race and Environment, York University, Canada. Jin Haritaworn grew up in Germany and is now living in Canada. They are a trans of colour queer scholar whose research focuses on queer and trans politics in relation to neoliberalism, racism and colonialism.