The postcolonial body in queer space and time

Rebecca Fine Romanow, University of Rhode Island


This dissertation examines the ways in which the notion of the postcolonial correlates to Judith Halberstam's idea of queer space and time where, in "[detaching] queerness from sexuality" (1), chronologies represent a "diminishing future [which] creates a new emphasis on the here, the present, the now" (Halberstam2). Emphasizing authors from Africa, the Levant, and Southeast Asia in the diaspora in London from the mid-1960s through 1990, the reading of both postcolonial lands and subjects as "queer counterproductive" space reveals a depiction of bodies in these texts as located in and performing "queer space and time." I argue that the first wave of postcolonial literature produced by diasporics presents the body as the site where the non-normative is performed, revealing the beginnings of a corporeal resistance to the recolonization of the diasporic individual residing in England from the Wilson through the Thatcher regimes. This study emphasizes the ways in which early postcolonial literature embodies and encounters the topics of race, gender and sexuality, proving that a rejection of subjectifying processes through the representation of the body has always been present in diasporic postcolonial literature. Reading through postcolonial theory as well as the works of Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari, Hardt and Negri, and Agamben, as well as Halberstam and queer theory, I discuss the poetry and journals of Arthur Nortje, Hanif Kureishi's The Buddha of Suburbia and his film Sammy and Rosie Get Laid, and Tayeb Salih's Season of Migration to the North, tracing a geographic arc from homeland to London to the return to the homeland, traveling through the queer space and time of the postcolonial. ^

Subject Area

Literature, Comparative|Literature, African|History, Middle Eastern|Literature, English|Cinema

Recommended Citation

Rebecca Fine Romanow, "The postcolonial body in queer space and time" (2006). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI3225329.