Problematic Proximities: Or Why Critiques of Gay Imperialism Matter

Ahmed, Sara. 2011. Problematic Proximities: Or Why Critiques of Gay Imperialism Matter. Feminist Legal Studies, 19(2), pp. 119-132. ISSN 0966-3622 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article examines the issues of censorship, language and racism through a critical reflection on Peter Tatchell’s response to the critique of gay imperialism offered by Jin Haritaworn, Tamsila Tauqir and Esra Erdem. In ‘Academics smear Peter Tatchell’, we are invited to find evidence of ‘Islamophobia, racism or support for imperialist wars’ in the writings that can be downloaded from Tatchell’s website. The article shows how islamophobia and racism operate in Tatchell’s writings not necessary in the content of specific arguments but through the very form of proximities (for example in the proximity between the words ‘Islam’, ‘fundamentalism’ and ‘terror’). The article thus reflects on how racism operates in language through the repetition of associations that get ‘stuck’.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


1 July 2011Published

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Date Deposited:

20 Sep 2011 14:24

Last Modified:

01 Feb 2021 16:19

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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