This special double issue of Social Text reassesses the political
utility of the term queer. The mainstreaming of gay and lesbian
identity-as a mass-mediated consumer lifestyle and an embattled
legal category-demands a renewal of queer studies that also
considers the global crises of the late twentieth century. These
crises, which are shaping national manifestations of sexual,
racial, and gendered hierarchies, include the ascendance and
triumph of neoliberalism; the clash of religious fundamentalisms,
nationalisms, and patriotisms; and the return to "moral values" and
"family values" as deterrents to political debate, economic
redistribution, and cultural dissent. In sixteen timely essays, the
contributors map out an urgent intellectual and political terrain
for queer studies and the contemporary politics of identity,
family, and kinship. Collectively, these essays examine the limits
of queer epistemology, the potentials of queer diasporas, and the
emergence of queer liberalism. They rethink queer critique in
relation to the war on terrorism and the escalation of U.S.
imperialism; the devolution of civil rights and the rise of the
prison-industrial complex; the continued dismantling of the welfare
state; the recoding of freedom in terms of secularization,
domesticity, and marriage; and the politics of citizenship,
migration, and asylum in a putatively postracial and postidentity
age. Contributors. Michael Cobb, David L. Eng, Roderick A.
Ferguson, Elizabeth Freeman, Gayatri Gopinath, Judith Halberstam,
Janet R. Jakobsen, Joon Oluchi Lee, Martin F. Manalansan IV, Jose
Esteban Munoz, Tavia Nyong'o, Hiram Perez, Jasbir K. Puar, Chandan
Reddy, Teemu Ruskola, Nayan Shah, Karen Tongson, Amy Villarejo
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