Accepted paper:

Queer necropolitics and strategic ethnography in Uganda


Heather Tucker (Central European University)

Paper short abstract:

Those within the sexual rights movement in Kampala, Uganda are enfolded into a queer necropolitics of U.S. exceptionalism in Uganda. I offer queer intersectional ethnography as a means of which to challenge this necropolitical process.

Paper long abstract:

argue that the multiple significations involved in the Ugandan sexual rights movement offer strengths and vulnerabilities to the lived realities of its participants. In addition, the means of which members of the movement are enfolded into the larger assemblage of the political economy of sexuality, or the queer necropolitics in Uganda requires multiple strategies regarding signification. This queer necropolitics, I refer to as a means of which to locate the U.S. exceptionalism, and the U.S. Culture Wars as central to the current political economy of sexuality and gender in Uganda. Queer theory challenges essentializations, while "ethnography allows for the nuanced communication of experience and enables a way of exploring the intricacies and nuances of lived practice in a specific temporal and spatial context; how people live through the problems and pleasure of daily life, how they live in relationship to the identities available to them" (Browne: 29). Feminist standpoint theorists and African researchers are calling towards thinking beyond essentialisms, as affect, embodiment, and ethnography can complicate such essentialisms. Engaging in an ethnographic study, therefore, will give more nuanced and complexity to the understanding of the localized struggle of a queer necropolitics in Uganda.

panel P058
Whatever is happening to the critical study of sexual and gender diversity in anthropology? (European Network of Queer Anthropology)