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Terrorist, Cowboy, Fag

Terrorist, Cowboy, Fag

Terrorist, Fag, Redneck is a collaborative project that interrogates the surveillance and criminalization of queer and Muslim bodies, while highlighting militarization in relation to heteronormative notions of American masculinity. By juxtaposing images and words and highlighting the sartorial element through drag, we seek to explore the way that the queer Middle Eastern subject is read, disciplined, and managed, as it inhibits different spaces during the war on Terror. Terrorist, Fag, Redneck explores the way that queer Muslim bodies are marked as menacing and are thus subjected to surveillance, violence, and criminalization. We aim to address the crisis that the ambivalent masculine body incites in unstable norms of gender, sexuality, and citizenship as it attempts to cross genders and borders through practices of passing. Some of the questions that we ask through this project include: How are gender non-conforming and Muslim bodies subjected to different surveillance technologies? When is the ambivalent body read as a “terrorist” and when is it read as a “fag”? How does American nationalism conflate the fag with the terrorist, while claiming to protect the fag from the terrorist? How does concealment apply differently to gender non-conforming and Muslim bodies? Who has the right to kill and who is subjected to death in the name of rights? Who has the right to conceal and carry and who is expected to reveal and disarm? What do acts of mimicry performed by queer Muslim masculine bodies challenge or repeat conventions of American masculinity? What are the limits of embodiment for a terrorist fag redneck? Sima Shakhsari Assistant Professor · 2012 to present · Wellesley, Massachusetts www.facebook.com/sima.shakhsari