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Lecture 17

GSWS 096 Lecture 17: GSWS 096 - Lecture 17, Introduction_ Points of Departure” + “Conclusion_ Locating the Diasporic Diva

Gender, Sexuality & Women's Studies
Course Code
GSWS 096

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Martin Manalansan, Global Divas (2003) Introduction: Points of Departure + Conclusion:
Locating the Diasporic Diva
Importance of narrative and sense of place: “an ethnographic case study of how processes of
globalization and transnationalism are negotiated through the processes of identity formation and
everyday life of Filipino gay immigrants in New York City” (9)
Participant observation, ”native informant”
global LGBT culture: “Pride without Borders”
What is mobility: experience of diaspora and migration (v. global, v. cosmopolitan)
Global and
local (Adrienne Rich on the “politics of location”)
Critique of US queer culture as “modern” endpoint of history
Accounting for the specificity of queer Filipino migration: creating and refiguring home; resisting
assimilation; performance; everyday life; theater; religion; family; class; race
-Martin Manalansan = anthropologist who works predominantly on gay Filipino men
-the book is an ethnography of Filipino immigrants in the US
-has LGBT rights/ politics/ experiments in a broader context
-question about how to think of the LGBT community in a global framework
-makes reference to turn in queer theory to make us think about global migration, global inequality, flows
of money and culture across borders following economic changes and he’s one of the key features in
thinking about the inequality of queer experience in a range of experiences
-he’s an anthropologist, which is significant because we get a skewed version of his method (as we just
read the intro and conclusion), so we get the introduction..?
-narrative is important in this book, as well as the sense of place
-we can equally well get narrative from this chapter
-starts with anecdote, situated anecdote
-this is how Manalansan frames the book = “ethnographic case study….New York City”
-concepts of globalisation/ transnationalism is what this book is about, more importantly he wants to track
the daily negotiations that people make with the concepts, we can’t understand the concepts without
looking at how they are lived out
-echoes natural bodies, how practices and people/ descriptions reflect the big concepts at stake
-thinking about ethnographic methods (going on the the field)
-anthropologists often go out onto a field without knowing what is actually going on and what is
happening, you discover things by hanging out with the population you’re studying - participant
observation (you’re not behind a hidden mirror, but rather you’re involved with the scene
-he’s part of the community that he’s studying
-Manalansan doesn’t talk much about himself, not an autoethonography, but he uses “we” – not studying
community on the other side of the world that he comes across for the first time, but rather he is part of/
involved in the community
-crucial to what he’s doing
-critique of the idea of the fact that there is a global LGBT culture
-Pride organisation
-globalisation = leads to global English, facilitating free flow across planet, people at
-encountering false universalism, idea that there is one movement
-access to gay lifestyle
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-cosmopolitanism = global, globai, self willed, goab
-the way we think about queer politics should be thought from top 0< o=
-some people get to other people in gays bars
-Adrienne Rich talked about significance of living. R
-in seasonal migratory work,
We are so different from one another. The places where we live, the colors of our skin, the possessions
and believes we hold dear all conspire to divide us and remind us of our difference, but all over this city
and this state, in these 50 states, and in provinces, cantons, parishes and hemisphere so convenient for
maps and for separating us, the one thing that we are is gay and lesbian. And queer. And homosexual…
We are so different. And we are everywhere And we are dykes and fags and pansies and patas and
sissies and so butch we are questioned in the ladies’ room at rest stops We know we are everywhere
and that we have always been everywhere, and that knowledge should make all of us proud. We are
strong because our love and our struggle draw us together. Our Pride, our desire to celebrate what we
have made for ourselves and our determination to achieve everything that we deserve erases all the
borders and makes all the differences meaningless. We are so different and yet we must work as one. (NY
Lesbian and Gay Pride Guide 1996: Pride Without Borders ) --cited Manalansan, 4
-rhetoric = we are so different from one another, please here me brothers and sisters (rhetorical appeal to
-gesture towards acknowledging everyone’s differences/ not just one way to be gay, and those differences
are allowable
-instead of true recognition of differences, community and peace seem like good values
-critique of everyone dancing and singing around a campfire is it sounds nice, but the extent that unites
them is that they’re gay and lesbian, which reproduces other forms of privilege and exclusion
-need to name and face the issues of privilege and exclusion
-discourse of the rallying cry, we may have dumb nation states who try to divide us, but we know what
we are about, there have historically/ currently been exclusions and hierarchy within the gay community
-> try to get bills for anti-discrimination through Congress by taking out trans protection
-we are all the same -> not true
-people who are less privileged may be side lined in these processes
-differences are meaningful and there are materialistic consequences, differences are tough/ valuable/
damaging, but this needs to be recognised - if we recognise this, perhaps we can ameliorate the situation
to maintain differences as opposed to ignoring them
-link to feminist imperialism, if you start with preconceived notion of what a woman is and try to get
everyone to fit in -> it doesn’t include everyone
-link to d’Emilio’s eternal homosexual
-this kind of pride and enforced pride can be alienating to people in the closet or people who are
The text begins and ends with difference and yet is permeated by political exhortations of its elision. (4)
-difference is great, just forget about any differences
The rainbow flag , an important symbol of gay and lesbian identity and community, is an example of
the some of the ways by which the lesbian and gay “community” has attempted to recognize diversity.
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