The Coloniality of Queer Theory: The Effects of ‘Homonormativity’ on Transnational Taiwan’s Path to Equality

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Virtual Event

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Kao Ying-Chao
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This study extends the “Queer” Asias critique to deconstruct the coloniality of queer theory in transnational Taiwan. Focusing on Duggan’s critique of homonormativity, I used 22-months ethnographic data to examine its Taiwanese glocalization and influences on American scholars’ denigration of Taiwanese marriage equality campaigns. I argue that the glocalization of homonormativity theory has generated the disruption between queer theory and embodied experiences, falsely assumed the universalism of queer theory, and failed to recognize practices of diversifying families and resistance to neoliberalism. The homonormativity glocalization also produces “radical queer temporality” and Orientalist double standards that collude with imperialist epistemology. I conclude with strategies for a decolonial queer theory.

Recommand Readings

Kao, Ying-Chao. 2021. “The Coloniality of Queer Theory: The Effects of ‘Homonormativity’ on Transnational Taiwan’s Path to Equality.” Sexualities (October, OnlineFirst).

Kao, Ying-Chao. 2017. “Weapons of the Weak Soldiers: Military Masculinity and Embodied Resistance in Taiwanese Conscription.” Pp. 199–218 in East Asian Men: Masculinity, Sexuality and Desire, edited by X. Lin, C. Haywood, and M. Mac an Ghaill. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Kao, Ying-Chao and Herng-Dar Bih. 2013. “Masculinity in Ambiguity: Constructing Taiwanese Masculine Identities between Great Powers.” Pp. 175–191 in Masculinities in a Global Era, edited by J. Gelfer. New York: Springer.

Speaker's Biography

Ying-Chao Kao, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University. He received his PhD in Sociology from Rutgers University in 2018. Professor Kao’s research interests include sexualities, masculinities, global religions, and inequalities. His current research tracks the global flows of Christian conservative activism, exploring how Taiwanese and American pro-family organizations have shaped and mobilized the global structures to oppose the sexual citizenship of the tongzhi (LGBTQI+) people. The ongoing globalized oppositional moral movements against marriage equality and “tongzhi education” are particularly examined in the contexts of neo-liberalism, geopolitics, and hetero-hegemony. Bridging the sociological research on religion, sexualities, and transnationalism, Kao’s analysis relates sexual politics and the resurgence of global Christianity to reveal the transnational networks of social conservatism and critically examine the changes in global inequalities.

Professor Kao has published his work in the journals Sexualities, Contexts, and Sexuality Research in China (in Chinese). His invited book review appeared in the American Journal of Sociology. His research on military masculinity was published in East Asian Men: Masculinity, Sexuality, and Desire (Palgrave, 2017) and Masculinities in a Global Era (Springer, 2013 and co-authored with H-D Bih). His traditional Chinese translation of Laud Humphreys’ Tearoom Trade: Impersonal Sex in Public Places (Socio, 2016) won the Editorship Award at the Taipei International Book Exhibition in 2017.
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Organiser: Centre of Taiwan Studies

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