Queering love

Sex, care, capital, and academic prejudices

Authored by: Rachel Spronk

Routledge Handbook of Queer African Studies

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  December  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138503472
eBook ISBN: 9781351141963
Adobe ISBN:


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In an important essay called “Queering queer Africa,” Stella Nyanzi (2014) wonders why queer African scholarship follows in the tracks of the Anglophone “loaded westernized frame of the LGBTI acronym,” and argues that queer Africa must broaden its scope so as to “explore and articulate local nuances of being non-heteronormative and non-gender conforming,” but also, crucially, to “demand a widening of the thematic focus for widening knowledge.” Namely,

The canvas of possibilities demanding queer production of knowledge from Africa include relationships, pleasure, intimacy, parenthood, education, voice and expression, representation and visibility, housing and shelter, movement, migration, exile and asylum, employment, income generation, livelihoods, family, ritual, health, spirituality, religion, faith, ritual, violence, security and safety, nationalism, ethnicity, and globalization.

(2014, 63) Being the “loud-mouthed … Black African heterosexual cisgender woman and mother … [and] Christian,” she describes how she is often misrecognized for not being “queer,” if not accused thereof. Queering the production of knowledge regarding gender and sexuality in Africa implies, according to Nyanzi, to move beyond essentializing understandings how body, desire, and gender intersect (see also Nyeck 2011, 194) and to include the vicissitudes of life that characterize many people’s lives dealing with the heteropatriarchal structures of their societies.

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