This panel explores global queer crossings and makings of borders of time and space, rethinking the import of queer mobilities for grasping the social, political, theoretical, and methodological (dis)connections between past and present, East and West, North and South, and their diverse effects.
Queer mobilities and border crossings are neither new phenomena nor limited to queer subjects; they encompass past and present queer (and anti-queer) practices, identities, socialities, politics, and mechanisms of knowledge production. Extensive transnational networks of sex, sociality, and knowledge within the Eastern Bloc, for example, were often ignored by postsocialist scholars and activists (East and West) in favor of Western models of identity, community, and politics; patterns of boundary-marking and crossing which have also grounded regional heteronationalist politics. Similar dynamics have been observed in other regions. This panel cruises queer histories crossing and challenging, as well as affirming, spatiotemporal borders (East/West; North/South, past/present) to ask how historical circulations and borderings of queer identities, socialities, knowledges, and politics set the stage for their current patterns, and how they can help us reconsider the theoretical and methodological implications of queer (im)mobilities. How can anthropologists study past and present queer crossings? How do past movements, transfers, connections, and disconnections inform current queer, and anti-queer, ties of identity, history, and politics? How can we reimagine the consequences of such analyses of queer relations past and present, for rethinking the borders currently binding both queer and anti-queer hegemonic narratives? We envision a Roundtable format panel, with short (10 min) papers using cases from diverse global contexts to highlight core theoretical issues of queerness, mobility, and border-crossing, which will then be discussed by the panel as a whole.