Document Type

Book Chapter

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Queer theory, queer legal work


This is the introduction to an edited collection. The book uses queer theory to examine the complex interactions of law, culture, and empire in relation to sexual minorities. Building on recent work on empire, it studies how law-reform efforts by sexual minorities can unwittingly advance imperial projects and how queer theory can itself show imperial ambitions. The book takes a contextual, socio-legal, comparative, and interdisciplinary approach. The authors - from five continents - study examples from Bollywood cinema to California’s 2008 marriage referendum. The chapters view a wide range of texts - from cultural productions to laws and judgments - as regulatory forces requiring scrutiny from outside Western, heterosexual privilege. The collection stands above earlier queer legal work because of the global positioning of its authors and their case studies (India, South Africa, the US, Australasia, Eastern Europe) and of its engagement with recent developments.