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The Sexual Politics of Border Control: An Introduction

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

Billy Holzberg, Anouk Madoerin, Michelle Pfeifer

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1485-1506
Number of pages22
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Issue number9
Published21 May 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: We want to thank all the authors of this special issue and the participants of the ?Sexuality and Borders? Symposium held at NYU in spring 2019 for their insightful contributions. A very special thank you goes to Clare Hemmings, Radha Hedge, Miriam Ticktin and Alyosxa Tudor for their generous support in bringing this issue to life as well as for their constructive feedback to this introduction. We also want to thank NYU?s Department of Media, Culture and Communication, LSE?s Department of Gender Studies and the DFG-funded Group ?Minor Cosmopolitanism? at the University of Potsdam for their conference funding and assistance without which this work would not have been possible. We also would like to thank the editorial team at Ethnic and Racial Studies, especially Amanda Eastell-Bleakley, whose support and guidance throughout this process has been invaluable. Publisher Copyright: © 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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In this introductory article to the special issue, we ask what role sexuality plays in the reproduction and contestation of border regimes and think sexuality towards its various entanglements with border control. As borders have been understood as a method for reproducing racialized distinctions, we argue that sexuality is also a method of bordering and illustrate how sexuality works as a key strategy for the capture, containment and regulation of mobility and movement. Taking a transnational approach, we bring together queer scholarship on borders and migration with the rich archive of feminist, Black, Indigenous and critical border perspectives to suggest that these strategies need to be understood in close relation to the (I) intersecting dynamics of colonial histories of racialization, (II) national regimes of reproductive control and (III) the containment of contagion, disease and sexual deviance.

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