Suzanne Lenon lecture on Homonationalism and the Biopolitics of Polygamy

The Department of Women’s and Gender Studies invites you to its second annual Valentine’s Day with Feminism Lecture. This year, Suzanne Lenon (Women’s and Gender Studies, University of Lethbridge) will be presenting on “Homonationalism and the Biopolitics of Polygamy.” An abstract and bio are below.

When: February 13, 3:00-4:30
Where: in the Senate Chamber (Old Arts 3-26).
A reception in the Faculty Lounge (Old Arts 3-20) will follow.

ABSTRACT:
This paper critically discusses the 2011 Polygamy Reference as a site of biopolitical anxiety assuaged (in part) through its own gestures of homonational inclusion, that is the enfolding of lesbian and gay subjects to preserve and protect monogamous marriage against the specter of polygamy’s degeneracy. The paper aims to explore the entangled histories of colonialism, race and empire that underpin this legal decision, and which enable the Court to mobilize a homonational critique of polygamy in the first place. It contends that the Polygamy Reference weaves the institution of monogamous marriage as exemplary of (Western) sexual modernity into a persistent white (homo)nation making.

BIO:
Suzanne Lenon is Assistant Professor in the Department of Women & Gender Studies at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta. Her research interests lie at the intersections of critical race feminisms & law, gender and sexuality. Publications include the co-edited projects ‘Law and Decolonization’ as a special issue of Canadian Journal of Law and Society (2014, with Stacy Douglas) and Disturbing Canadian Homonationalisms (2015, forthcoming from UBC Press, with OmiSoore H. Dryden) as well as articles in Social Identities, Journal of Intercultural Studies, darkmatter, Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture and Social Justice, & Canadian Journal of Women & the Law.

Co-sponsored by the KULE Institute for Advanced Study

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