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Femme Ontology: Queer Femininities and the Politics of Race On-line

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Abstract:

In Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men in the Diaspora, author Martin F. Manalansan addresses bakla self-formation, self-hood, and self-making by culling together the work of two anthropologists whom he acknowledges as complicating the discursive work on Filipino ontology. Manalansan builds a theory of bakla ontology as “a self embedded in a field of social relations and always in process” and “in terms of struggle for and power over meaning” (42-43), which transcends standard ontological discussions circumscribed by psychoanalytic theory and its investments in the unconscious and internal self. Thus, Manalansan’s approach to bakla ontology is never severed from the social forces encumbering self-formation but is explicitly mapped onto a matrix of power as it courses through history, geographic location, social structures, bodies, and the quotidian realities of everyday life.
Using Manalansan’s approach to ontology or self-formation, this paper explores the circuit of on-line representations of queer femininity and the web of discursive meanings producing the hegemonic ontology “queer femme.” In the last year, two conferences on the subject of queer femininity launched websites to promote participation in—and disseminate information on—the subject of queer femininity. I consider how the space of the on-line conference—its discursive representations and social relations—acts as a crucial social, political, and cultural site for constructing and disseminating a particular U.S.-centric queer femme subject. I approach the on-line representation of the conference as the enabling ontological site in question to expose and understand better the discursive and public role involved in self-formation and self-making. I consider how the on-line site of a past and a soon-to-be held conference visually and textually code the racialized gender and sexuality of queer femme identity and femininity, simultaneously globally exporting such representations to live speaking and thinking subjects. I seek to understand how the conference site produces the ontology of “queer femme,” and how this discursively created ontology depends on particular racial tropes yet significantly effaces its racialized make-up, relegating “race” to an identity category.
Perpetually existing on-line, the conference site coheres definitions of queer femininity, advances self-formation, constructs community identification, and exhibits relationships of power. By further examining how the conference site functions discursively to “make-up” and promulgate queer femme subjectivity and queer femininity, I highlight the racialized register of hegemonic queer femme subjectivity and queer femininity to rethink how the politics of race operate when femininity is queered.
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Name: American Studies Association
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http://www.theasa.net


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p114501_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Macias, Stacy. "Femme Ontology: Queer Femininities and the Politics of Race On-line" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association, <Not Available>. 2013-12-16 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p114501_index.html>

APA Citation:

Macias, S. I. "Femme Ontology: Queer Femininities and the Politics of Race On-line" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association <Not Available>. 2013-12-16 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p114501_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: In Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men in the Diaspora, author Martin F. Manalansan addresses bakla self-formation, self-hood, and self-making by culling together the work of two anthropologists whom he acknowledges as complicating the discursive work on Filipino ontology. Manalansan builds a theory of bakla ontology as “a self embedded in a field of social relations and always in process” and “in terms of struggle for and power over meaning” (42-43), which transcends standard ontological discussions circumscribed by psychoanalytic theory and its investments in the unconscious and internal self. Thus, Manalansan’s approach to bakla ontology is never severed from the social forces encumbering self-formation but is explicitly mapped onto a matrix of power as it courses through history, geographic location, social structures, bodies, and the quotidian realities of everyday life.
Using Manalansan’s approach to ontology or self-formation, this paper explores the circuit of on-line representations of queer femininity and the web of discursive meanings producing the hegemonic ontology “queer femme.” In the last year, two conferences on the subject of queer femininity launched websites to promote participation in—and disseminate information on—the subject of queer femininity. I consider how the space of the on-line conference—its discursive representations and social relations—acts as a crucial social, political, and cultural site for constructing and disseminating a particular U.S.-centric queer femme subject. I approach the on-line representation of the conference as the enabling ontological site in question to expose and understand better the discursive and public role involved in self-formation and self-making. I consider how the on-line site of a past and a soon-to-be held conference visually and textually code the racialized gender and sexuality of queer femme identity and femininity, simultaneously globally exporting such representations to live speaking and thinking subjects. I seek to understand how the conference site produces the ontology of “queer femme,” and how this discursively created ontology depends on particular racial tropes yet significantly effaces its racialized make-up, relegating “race” to an identity category.
Perpetually existing on-line, the conference site coheres definitions of queer femininity, advances self-formation, constructs community identification, and exhibits relationships of power. By further examining how the conference site functions discursively to “make-up” and promulgate queer femme subjectivity and queer femininity, I highlight the racialized register of hegemonic queer femme subjectivity and queer femininity to rethink how the politics of race operate when femininity is queered.

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