This essay delineates the contours of the United Arab Emirates’s biopolitical national project through the lens of queerness as a site of productive failure, rupture, and danger—one with the potential to disrupt the heteronormative notions of lineage and futurity upon which this project relies. This article focuses on the Emirati “post-oil” generation: one that has borne witness to a landscape of excess, expatriate population growth, and values that possibly conflict with those of indigenous groups, directly tied to major regional oil booms. Drawing on rentier theory and political economy, this article examines the shift in the Emirati citizen-state relationship from straightforward economic exchange to one built on an economy of debt, inheritance, and narratives of reproduction and regeneration. Queerness, in this context, is a site of injury falling outside such narratives, operating outside identitarian frameworks and lineages of post-oil success(ion), against and beyond vertical lines of inheritance and regeneration.
Queerer Than Queer: Anti-Ancestry, Disavowal, and the Emirati Post-Oil Generation
Noor Al-Qasimi is an honorary research fellow at the University of Exeter, UK, whose publications have appeared in the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies and Camera Obscura: Feminism, Media, and Cultural Studies. Her work focuses on the intersection between subjective formations of bodily capacities, debt, neo-liberal governance, and post-oil technologies in the United Arab Emirates.
Noor Al-Qasimi; Queerer Than Queer: Anti-Ancestry, Disavowal, and the Emirati Post-Oil Generation. GLQ 1 January 2020; 26 (1): 63–101. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10642684-7929111
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