Queer Necropolitics: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Queer Necropolitics

1st Edition

Edited by Jin Haritaworn, Adi Kuntsman, Silvia Posocco


222 pages | 8 B/W Illus.

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This book comes at a time when the intrinsic and self-evident value of queer rights and protections, from gay marriage to hate crimes, is increasingly put in question. It assembles writings that explore the new queer vitalities within their wider context of structural violence and neglect. Moving between diverse geopolitical contexts – the US and the UK, Guatemala and Palestine, the Philippines, Iran and Israel – the chapters in this volume interrogate claims to queerness in the face(s) of death, both spectacular and everyday.

Queer Necropolitics mobilises the concept of ‘necropolitics’ in order to illuminate everyday death worlds, from more expected sites such as war, torture or imperial invasion to the mundane and normalised violence of racism and gender normativity, the market, and the prison-industrial complex. Contributors here interrogate the distinction between valuable and pathological lives by attending to the symbiotic co-constitution of queer subjects folded into life, and queerly abjected racialised populations marked for death. Drawing on diverse yet complementary methodologies, including textual and visual analysis, ethnography and historiography, the authors argue that the distinction between ‘war’ and ‘peace’ dissolves in the face of the banality of death in the zones of abandonment that regularly accompany contemporary democratic regimes.

The book will appeal to activist scholars and students from various social sciences and humanities, particularly those across the fields of law, cultural and media studies, gender, sexuality and intersectionality studies, race, and conflict studies, as well as those studying nationalism, colonialism, prisons and war. It should be read by all those trying to make sense of the contradictions inherent in regimes of rights, citizenship and diversity.


QUEER NECROPOLITICS is a collection of brilliantly astute and bravely explorative essays that animate and bring to life the remains and casualties of state strategies of abandonment, of wars without end, and of bare lives. Refusing the mere documentarian tasks of a scholar, the authors exhort readers to bring themselves to uncomfortable and disturbing yet productive engagements with the messy collisions of race, sexuality, and violent dispossessions in various queer sites, times and orientations of forms of "subjugations of life to the power of death." A landmark contribution.

----Martin F. Manalansan IV, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Asian American Studies and author of Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men in the Diaspora

By exhuming the death-worlds that produce some forms of vitality as little more than remaindered life, Queer Necorpolitics brilliantly performs the work of imagining a politics beyond the political. This collection is precisely the kind of theory we need—it offers thick descriptions and insurgent analysis through a rigorous indictment of the neoliberal present. These writers push us beyond the page and toward a practice of abolishing the various iterations of capture, colonization, and liquidation so that more might flourish under the banner of collective liberation.

---Eric A. Stanley, co-editor of Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex

Sharp, timely, and necessary, Queer Necropolitics explores the contemporary terrain of queer politics not to ask, "who has been left out", but "what remains" to build a queer analytics after the absorption of women?s, gay and transgender politics into a discourse of rights, protection and diversity. Queer Necropolitics answers not by sifting out every more fine identities and entities but by analyzing new differentials of disposable being in the ordinary seams of everyday life.

---Elizabeth Povinelli, the author of The Empire of Love: Toward a Theory of Intimacy, Geneology, and Carnality and Economies of Abandonment: Social Belonging and Endurance in Late Liberalism

Table of Contents

Prologue Sunera Thobani, Introduction: ‘Queer Necropolitics’ Jin Haritaworn, Adi Kuntsman and Silvia Posocco, PART I: DEATH WORLDS, Chapter 1. ‘We Will Not Rest in Peace: AIDS Activism, Black Radicalism, Queer and/or Trans resistance’ Che Gossett, Chapter 2. ‘(Hyper/In)Visibility and the Military Corps(e)’ Michelle R. Martin-Baron, Chapter 3. ‘On the Queer Necropolitics of Transnational Adoption in Guatemala’ Silvia Posocco, PART II: WARS AND BORDERZONES, Chapter 4. ‘Killing Me Softly with Your Rights: Queer Death and the Politics of Rightful Killing’ Sima Shakhsari, Chapter 5. ‘Black Skin Splits: The Birth (and Death) of the Queer Palestinian’ Jason Ritchie, Chapter 6. ‘Trans Feminine Value, Racialized Others and the Limits of Necropolitics’ Aren Z. Aizura, PART III: INCARCERATION, Chapter 7. ‘Queer Investments in Punitiveness: Sexual Citizenship, Social Movements and the Expanding Carceral State’ S. Lamble, Chapter 8. ‘"Walking While Transgendered": Necropolitical Regulations of Trans Feminine Bodies of Color in the US Nation’s Capital’ Elijah Adiv Edelman, Chapter 9 ‘Queer Politics and Anti-Blackness’ Morgan Bassichis and Dean Spade

About the Editors

Jin Haritaworn is Assistant Professor of Gender, Race and Environment at York University in Toronto; Adi Kuntsman is Simon Research Fellow at the University of Manchester, UK; and Silvia Posocco is Lecturer in the Department of Psychosocial Studies, Birkbeck College, University of London

About the Series

Social Justice

Within a broad geopolitical and intellectual landscape, this new, theoretically engaged, interdisciplinary series explores institutional and grassroots practices of social justice across a range of spatial scales. While the pursuit of social justice is as important as it has ever been, its character, conditions, values, and means of advancement are being radically questioned and rethought in the light of contemporary challenges and choices. Attuned to these varied and evolving contexts, Social Justice explores the complex conditions social justice politics confronts and inhabits – of crisis, shock, and erosion, as well as renewal and social invention, of change as well as continuity.

Foregrounding struggle, imagined alternatives and the embedding of new norms, the Social Justice series welcomes books which critically and normatively address the values underpinning new social politics, everyday forms of embodied practice, new dissident knowledges, and struggles to institutionalise change. In particular, the series seeks to explore state and non-state forms of organisation, analysing the different pathways through which social justice projects are put into practice, and the contests their practice generates. More generally, submissions are welcomed exploring the following themes:

• The changing politics of equality and social justice

• The establishment of alternative, organised sites and networks through which social and political experimentation take place

• The phenomenology of power, inequality and changing social relations

• Techniques of governance through which social change and equality agendas are advanced and institutionalised across different geographic scales

• Institutionalisation of new norms (through official and unofficial forms of institutionalisation) and struggles over them

• Practices of resistance, reversal, counter-hegemony and anti-normativity

• Changing values, practices, and the ways in which relations of inequality and difference are understood

Social Justice is intended as a critical interdisciplinary series, at the interface of law, social theory, politics and cultural studies. The series welcomes proposals that advance theoretical discussion about social justice, power, institutions, grass-roots practice and values/ ethics. Seeking to develop new conversations across different disciplines and fields, and working with wide-ranging methodologies, Social Justice seeks contributions that are open, engaging, and which speak to a wide, diverse academic audience across all areas of the law, social sciences and humanities.

For further information on the series, or to discuss a possible contribution, please contact the Series Editors at:

Davina Cooper, Kent Law School, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, UK
Tel: +44 (1227) 824172

Sarah Lamble, School of Law, Birkbeck College, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX
Tel: +44 (0)207 631 6017

Sarah Keenan, School of Law, Birkbeck College, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX
Tel: +44 (0)207 631 6017


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / International
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Anarchism
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Colonialism & Post-Colonialism
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Death & Dying
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Black Studies (Global)