A critical exploration of the ways that postcolonial diasporas challenge and re-shape exclusive formulations of ‘home’ and ‘homeland’ rooted in racist and heteronormative practices spread by transatlantic neoliberalism.
Homelandings is a critical exploration of the ways that postcolonial diasporas challenge exclusive formulations of ‘home’ and ‘homeland’ based on racist and heteronormative assumptions. It critically engages with Foucault’s notions of “biopolitics" and "governmentality" as a conjoined technology of governance in the era of neoliberal capitalism ushered into the global economy from the late 1970s. Drawing on texts produced by diasporic people in the UK and USA whose work resists and re-appropriates exclusive home sites produced by trends of Anglo-American neoliberalism, it exposes entrenched discourses of exclusion rooted in race, class, and sexuality. In doing so, it offers an urgent intervention for students and scholars of cultural studies, postcolonial studies, Anglophone literature, comparative literature, Race and Ethnicity studies, and Queer studies.
Homelandings offers a compelling challenge to received conceptions of home and national belonging by exposing the ways in which these are always already constituted by racism, classism, misogyny, and queerphobia in neoliberal governmental societies. Gairola accomplishes this through a brilliant analysis of transnational strategies of cultural resistance that have produced alternative modes of living and embodiments of home by queer diasporic agents of colour in work by Michelle Cliff, Hanif Kureishi, Jessica Hagedorn, and Jackie Kay. A timely book that stretches the intersectional matrices and transdisciplinary breadth of queer theorising in innovative ways. William J Spurlin, Professor of English, Brunel University London
Through thoughtful readings of postcolonial film and fiction as well as criticism, Rahul K. Gairola offers a sobering account of how racism, classism, sexism, and queerphobia together make up the “home economics” of neoliberal biopolitical governmentality. Although many of the texts he examines first appeared in an earlier historical moment, this book is a timely contribution to our understanding of Brexit. Rey Chow, Anne Firor Scott Professor of Literature in Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, Duke University
The insightful, comparative readings of postcolonial fiction and films in Homelandings expose how elements of racism, class distinctions, sexism, and queerphobia are built into the neoliberal ideology of home economics and biopolitical governmentality. Gairola’s brilliant analysis of the strategies of resistance provides an alternative to state-sponsored heteronormative assumptions/ principles regarding home and belonging. His timely choice of texts dating from 1984 to 2001 is, it appears, a deliberate genealogy. They provide a historical and ideological road map of how we have gone from the rise of the neoliberal values of Thatcherism and Reagonomics to the global crisis of Brexit and Trumpism today. Truly, Gairola’s book warrants accolades for bringing searing, fresh insights and transnational breadth to postcolonial, migration, and queer studies. I wonder if the ancient Indian adage “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (from the Maha Upanishad), which means that the world is one family, could be relevant here. Tasneem Shahnaaz, Associate Professor of English, Sri Aurobindo College, University of Delhi
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Rahul K. Gairola is Assistant Professor of English & Comparative Literature in the Department of Humanities & Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee. He is an Article Editor for Postcolonial Text, and co-editor of Revisiting India's Partition: New Essays on Memory, Culture, and Politics (Lexington Books, 2016).