Settlement conditions the formation of modern queer subjects and politics in the United States. This essay newly interprets the settler formation of U.S. queer modernities by inspiration of Jasbir Puar's critique of homonationalism. Puar argues that homonationalism produces U.S. queers as regulatory over the racialized and sexualized populations targeted within the imperial biopolitics of the war on terror. I explain homonationalism as a quality of U.S. queer modernities having formed within a colonial biopolitics, in which the terrorizing sexual colonization of Native peoples produces modern sexuality as a function of settlement. This essay reinterprets historical accounts at the intersections of queer, Native, and colonial studies to show how a colonial biopolitics of modern sexuality relationally produces Native and settler sexual subjects. Modern queer projects enact this biopolitics when their normatively non-Native and settler form distances Native people from sexual modernity, even as they seek modern sexual freedoms in the settler state. Homonationalism arises here, as one effect of settlement's naturalization and defense in U.S. queer modernities, and as one means by which the continued colonization of Native peoples and land shapes the imperial projections of the United States and its subjects. Settler homonationalism may be destabilized by marking and challenging its historical formation and holding queer projects accountable to Native struggles for decolonization.
GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies – Duke University Press
Published: Jan 1, 2010
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