204 conclusion
queer times, terrorist assemblages
These are queer times indeed, temporal assemblages hooked into an array
of enduring modernist paradigms (civilizing teleologies, Orientalisms,
xenophobia, militarization, border anxieties) and postmodernist eruptions
(suicide bombers, biometric surveillance strategies, emergent corporeali-
ties, counterterrorism in overdrive). With its emphases on bodies, desires,
pleasures, tactility, rhythms, echoes, textures, deaths, morbidity, torture,
pain, sensation, and punishment, our necropolitical present-future deems it
imperative to rearticulate what queer theory and studies of sexuality have
to say about the metatheories and the realpolitik of empire, often under-
stood, as Joan Scott observes, as ‘‘the real business of politics.’’∞ Queer times
require even queerer modalities of thought, analysis, creativity, and expres-
sion in order to elaborate upon nationalist, patriotic, and terrorist forma-
tions and their imbricated forms of racialized perverse sexualities and gen-
der dysphorias.
Throughout this book I allude to queer praxes of futurity that insistently
disentangle the relations between representation and a√ect, and propose
queerness as not an identity nor an anti-identity, but an assemblage that is
spatially and temporally contingent. The limitations of intersectional iden-
titarian models emerge progressively—however queer they may be—as I
work through the concepts of a√ect, tactility, and ontology. While disman-
tling the representational mandates of visibility identity politics that feed
narratives of sexual exceptionalism, a√ective analyses can approach queer-
nesses that are unknown or not cogently knowable, that are in the midst of
becoming, that do not immediately and visibly signal themselves as insur-
gent, oppositional, or transcendent. This shift forces us to ask not only what
terrorist corporealities mean or signify, but more insistently, what do they
do? In this conclusion, I review these tensions between a√ect and represen-
tation, identity and assemblage, posing the problematics of nationalist and
terrorist formations as central challenges to transnational queer cultural
and feminist studies.
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