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New Narratives of Sexual Citizenship: SOGI Refugees and Homonationalism in Canada

New Narratives of Sexual Citizenship: SOGI Refugees and Homonationalism in Canada
725 Spadina Road, Room 240, Department of Sociology
Time: Mar 8th, 2:00 pm End: Mar 8th, 3:30 pm
Interest Categories: Sociology (FAS), Sexual Diversity, Diaspora/Transnational, Anthropology (UTSC), Anthropology (UTM), Anthropology (FAS), 2000-
Talk by David Murray, York University

The Sociology Department presents

New Narratives of Sexual Citizenship: SOGI Refugees and Homonationalism in Canada

My recent monograph, "Real Queer: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Refugees in the Canadian Refugee Apparatus" (2016, Rowman and Littlefield Press) was developed as a counter-narrative to popular media narratives of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) refugee claimants as victims of homophobic nations who apply for refuge in Canada, a nation known for its progressive sexual rights and freedoms. This "ethnography of a legal process" (Coutin 2000) tracks SOGI refugee claimants in Toronto from their inception to their final decision. This book is also about "the encounters, social interactions, forms of knowledge, and ethical engagements that have their genesis in formal law but are not reducible to it" (Cabot 2014), with a particular focus on the ways in which refugee claimants, support workers, lawyers and IRB staff prepare for and assess SOGI refugee claims. By paying close attention to the ways in which various interlocutors interpret, negotiate, and define sexual and gender identity as key components of ‘refugeeness' (Malkki 1996), I develop an argument that SOGI refugee claimants, those who work with them and those who assess their claims are enmeshed in an apparatus predicated upon homonormative frameworks which place SOGI refugee claimants from non-North American societies in a particularly vulnerable position. However, I also pay attention to the ways in which SOGI refugee claimants negotiate, maneuver and sometimes resist the homonormative strictures of the apparatus.

David A.B. Murray is Professor of Anthropology and Sexuality Studies at York University, Toronto. Recent publications include, "Queering Borders: Language, Sexuality and Migration" (editor, 2016, John Benjamins Publishing Company), "Flaming Souls: Homosexuality, Homophobia and Social Change in Barbados" (2012, University of Toronto Press) and "Homophobias: Lust and Loathing Across Time and Space" (2009, Duke University Press).

This event is free and open to all. Registration is not required. For further information, please contact sociology.dept@utoronto.ca (416) 978-3412.

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