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Deborah Cohler

Bio: Deborah Cohler is an academic researcher. The author has contributed to research in topics: Empire & Eugenics. The author has an hindex of 3, co-authored 3 publications receiving 14 citations.
Topics: Empire, Eugenics, Kinship, Memoir, Queer

Papers
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors examined the representational violence that accompanied the material violence of the US-led war in Iraq (2003−2011) by examining how ideological constructions of "home,” war waging, and child-rearing function in the memoir and subsequent film American Sniper by Chris Kyle and the memoir by his wife Taya Kyle.
Abstract: This essay interrogates the representational violence that accompanied the material violence of the US-led war in Iraq (2003−2011) by examining how ideological constructions of “home,” war waging, and child-rearing function in the memoir and subsequent film American Sniper by Chris Kyle and the memoir by his wife, Taya Kyle. Read in public debates as uncontroversial, lauded from ideologues left and right, the role of the military spouse in the American Sniper oeuvre shores up a politics of redemption that venerates American exceptionalism while claiming a status of universalized and depoliticized womanhood. Highlighting the role of Taya Kyle as a military spouse and war widow illustrates how the trope of nationalist white womanhood becomes key to the operations not only of homefront biopolitical projects, but also of warfront necropolitical projects of empire.

4 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors examined early twentieth-century discourses of reproduction, kinship, and citizenship through the lenses of feminist geopolitics and queer temporality, and illustrated how Ellis's articulations of alternative kinships and queer eugenics might move current work in queer theory to consider the embedded structure of racial hierarchies in discussions of futurity, and the relationship of normative and oppositional kinship structures to the geopolitical.
Abstract: Edith Lees Ellis, now remembered most for her marriage to sexologist Havelock Ellis, produced a suite of political essays and fiction at the turn of the twentieth century that explored questions of racial citizenship, reproductive politics, and women’s rights through the discourse of eugenics. Reading Ellis’s 1906 My Cornish Neighbours in relation to current debates surrounding queer theory reveals an important relationship between the history of eugenics and current queer theories of futurity and abjection. By examining early twentieth-century discourses of reproduction, kinship, and citizenship through the lenses of feminist geopolitics and queer temporality, the article illustrates how Ellis’s articulations of alternative kinships and queer eugenics might move current work in queer theory to consider the embedded structure of racial hierarchies in discussions of futurity, and the relationship of normative and oppositional kinship structures to the geopolitical.

3 citations


Cited by
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Journal ArticleDOI
01 Nov 2008
TL;DR: Jasbir Puar as mentioned in this paper argues that by accepting their new civil rights, gay people in the USA become complicit in war and imperialism, and argues that it is not just assimilated gay people who are complicit, but also transgressive queers who, she suggests, too frequently elide their own class and racial privilege.
Abstract: Jasbir Puar's ambitious book offers a densely woven web of engagements with key debates in queer theory. The central focus is the multiple biopolitical configurations of sex, sexuality, race, and gender that have been unleashed by the war on terror, examining how the limited extension of civil rights for lesbians and gay men in the USA and Europe has allowed the USA and its allies to present the continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as human rights missions against `backward' Islamic states that oppress women and gay men. She suggests sexual freedom is no longer perverse, but a strand of US and British exceptionalism that provides the `moral authority' to intervene in the affairs of other states. Puar argues that, by accepting their new civil rights, gay people in the USA become complicit in war and imperialism. Her work seeks to `̀ exhume the convivial relations'' (page xiv) between queerness and militarism. And she does mean `queerness'; Puar maintains that it is not just assimilated gay people who are complicit, but also transgressive queers who, she suggests, too frequently elide their own class and racial privilege. In this context, Puar's work extends recent debates surrounding homonormativity, moving away from a class-centred critique of the ways in which certain lesbian and gay populations have been incorporated into mainstream consumption, and refocusing the terms of the debate around homonationalism, or the ways in which lesbians and gay men (in the USA) have become aligned with the interests of the state. While her argument may be valid for the USA, I found Puar's attempt to extend her analysis to a European context both challenging and less convincing. Terrorist Assemblages opens with an interrogation of the links between contemporary homonationalism and biopolitics. The rise of homonationalism is then explored further through an excavation of the `sexuality of terrorism'. This chapter charts the trajectories of different sexualised discourses in the years since 9/11, noting how queer and feminist critiques have frequently, if unwittingly, reproduced imperialist representations of the queer sexualities of terrorists. This theme is pursued subsequently through a discussion of US sexual exceptionalism and how, in the aftermath of the revelations of torture at Abu Ghraib, Muslim masculinities were represented through a number of contradictory frames, as simultaneously `̀ sexually excessive and repressive'' (page xxv). Although these initial chapters highlight the conservative consequences of US homonationalism, the third chapter examines the simultaneous production of queer, liberal subjects through a discussion of the debates surrounding the decriminalisation of sodomy in the USA in 2003. Puar argues that celebratory queer readings of the 2003 Lawrence v Texas ruling, framed as it was on an assumption that same-sex couples are worthy of having their domestic privacy protected from state surveillance, only stand up if they ignore the biopolitical economies of control and the intensified surveillance of other bodies unleashed by the US Patriot Act. The exploration of queer, liberal subject formations is extended through a discussion of the pressures on South Asian queer diasporas in the USA to conform to homonormative imperatives. In this final chapter, Puar begins an affective reading of the troubling and confusing bodies of turban-wearing Sikh Americans (who are frequently mistaken for Muslim terrorists). This affective approach is intensified in the conclusion of the book, where Puar proposes rethinking queerness as neither identity, nor anti-identity, but as a spatially and temporally contingent assemblage with a focus on becoming; a queerness that offers corporeal convergences beyond intersectionality, attuning instead to the movements, intensities, and energies inhabiting events, spaces, and corporealities. She seeks a queerness that challenges the fixity of racial and sexual taxonomies that can be measured and used to separate us from them. This queerness deprivileges the queer/not queer binary, moving beyond an approach that is exclusively resistant and dissenting, to one that acknowledges its own complicity in the production Reviews Environment and Planning A 2008, volume 40, pages 2791 ^ 2792

358 citations

Journal Article
TL;DR: Havelock Ellis as discussed by the authors investigated the relationship between love and pain and concluded that pain is a powerful sexual stimulant under certain abnormal circumstances; that it does so because pain is the most powerful means of arousing emotion; and that anger and fear are the two emotions most intimately associated with fear, through which the process of natural selection largely works.
Abstract: an impulse of evacuation and also of its being merely a reproductive impulse. Then Moll's dual definition of the impulses of detumescence and of contvacation are considered, especially in relation to Darwin's sexual selection. Finally the author favours a definition of the sexual impulse as consisting of the impulses of tumescence and detumescence, the latter being a powerful instinct but dependent on the former, and it in turn being closely associated with violent motion such as fighting, or vigorous mocion such as dancing or athletics. The argument is fortified by a wealth of examples taken from animal life and from the primitive races, the collection of which evinces a wide reading and a philosophic grasp of the subject. The second essay treats of the relation of love to pain. Mr. Havelock Ellis sets himself the task to answer the questions?why is it that love inflicts, and even seeks to inflict, pain ? Why is it that love suffers pain, and even seeks to suffer it? This leads directly to the consideration of the essential phenomena of courtship in the animal world generally ; next, passing from the normal to the abnormal, he discusses varieties of algolagnia such as sadism, masochism and flagellation. His conclusions are that pain, especially the mental representation of pain, may act as a powerful sexual stimulant under certain abnormal circumstances; that it does so because pain is the most powerful means of arousing emotion ; that anger and fear are the two emotions most intimately associated with fear, and that they are the fundamental animal emotions on the psychic side, through which the process of natural selection largely works. In the third essay the sexual impulse in women is discussed. The relationship of marriage, celibacy and divorce to suicide in the two sexes shows that in men the frequency of suicide increases progressively throughout life ; in women there is a marked diminution after thirty, i.e., when the period of the most intense sexual emotion has been passed, followed by another increase in frequency during the climacteric period from forty to fifty years. Marriage appears, contrary to the common belief, to be less of a protection against suicide amongst women than men, and divorced women are less liable than

275 citations