Gender Studies Seminar: Geopolitical Spaces with Emil Edenborg
The Gender Studies Seminar is an open seminar series hosted by the Department of Gender Studies. This semesters the theme of the seminars is Gendered and sexualized spaces. In this seminar we focus on geopolitical spaces together with Emil Edenborg, PhD in political science and associate professor of gender studies at Stockholm University.
The Gender Studies Seminar Series invite researchers to share their insights on key issues for gendered and sexualized lives, and to engage in critical discussions about the development of gender studies as an interdisciplinary and intersectional research field. During the spring and fall semester 2023, we focus our attention on critical contributions and interventions into gendered and sexualized spaces, from the domestic to the geopolitical.
Geopolitical Spaces with Emil Edenborg
Title: The state and the gaze/gays: International development aid, LGBTI activism, and dilemmas of visibility
As states in the Global North increasingly incorporate LGBTI concerns in foreign and development policies, such state practices tend to rely on certain gendered, sexualized and racialized logics of visibility. To support populations vulnerable to political homophobia, the state must first identify and recognize them as LGBTI people in need of protection. Thus, the gaze of the state, the process of looking for and categorizing those eligible for being “saved”, is a regulatory mechanism by which states in the Global North enact LGBTI solidarity. Moreover, the local pro-LGBTI initiatives supported in such policies, e.g. financing conferences, festivals and educational campaigns in Global South/East countries, often contribute to increasing the visibility of queer communities. While public visibility is often a goal for activists, it may also come with increased vulnerability and risk of violence. It is therefore somewhat ironic that visibility is also what donor states demand and promote in their foreign and development policies. Based on a case study of how Sweden addresses LGBTI concerns within its international development aid policy, this paper unpacks tensions around visibility within pro-LGBTI international policies, and discusses how visibility is understood and navigated by both state officials and activists.
Emil Edenborg is Ph.D. of political science and associate professor of gender studies at Stockholm University. At the moment, Emil Edenborg’s research concerns foreign and development policy from a queer perspective.
M221, Allhelgona Kyrkogata 18C
mia [dot] liinason [at] genus [dot] lu [dot] se