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  5. 2015

(Trans)national Queers Online

Publié le 15 juin 2015 Mis à jour le 29 septembre 2023

15 juin


Lukasz Szulc
(University of Antwerp)

Institut de sociologie de l'ULB, Avenue Jeanne 44 1050 Ixelles, Salle Henri Janne (15ème étage)

Nationalism does not have a good reputation in LGBTQ studies. It is usually considered as homogenizing and heteronormative or, in its homonationalistic version, as exploiting LGBTQ sexualities for nationalism’s own harmful purposes. Taking a more nuanced look at the intersections of the nation, nationalisms and LGBTQ sexualities, in this talk I will present how LGBTQs employ the elements of national identities in their self-presentational discourses. In particular, I will draw on Michael Billig’s (1995) concept of banal nationalism to discuss the subtle, often unnoticed and taken-for-granted, (re)productions of both individual nations and the world as a world of nations. Additionally, my focus will be on the internet communication, which has long been considered as the ultimate agent of globalization, fostering the emergence and proliferation of the ‘global gay’. Conversely, by referring to my doctoral research on LGBTQ websites in Poland and Turkey, I will show how authors of LGBTQ websites employ, but also resist, particular national discourses in the content of their homepages as well as in the ways they organize hyperlinks and choose Top-Level Domains (such as .com or .pl for Poland). I will conclude by offering a number of interpretations and proposing a concept of ‘domesticating the nation online’, which is a form of queering the nation via digital technology, though not to challenge hegemonic national discourses in a public debate but to make the nation more homely for LGBTQs themselves.

Lukasz Szulc has received a PhD in Communication Studies from the University of Antwerp (UA) in February 2015 and is currently associated with the UA’s Media, Policy & Culture research group. His key academic interests include the intersections of the internet, LGBTQ sexualities and trans/nationalisms, especially in regard to Poland and Polish diaspora. He has recently published articles in such journals as Asian Journal of Communication (‘Homonationalism and western progressive narrative’), New Media & Society (‘Banal nationalism and queers online’) and International Journal of Communication (‘The geography of LGBTQ internet studies’). His personal website is www.lukaszszulc.com and Twitter: @LukaszSzulc.