Wishing for a Benign Vision

At one level, my interest in the historical experiences of queers in the South reflects a desire to create a narrative that would allow me to bring the seemingly disparate parts of my identity together, if only for a textual moment. Yet I am leery of this desire for synthesis, for given the normative definitions that coalesce around “the South” and “southern,” (i.e., the South as more racist, sexist, heterosexist, etc. than the rest of the country), this desire seems suspect. I have had to ask myself what this “togetherness” would symbolize. Is reconciliation necessary, desirable, or even possible? The impulse to distance myself from dominant definitions of southern seems as suspect as the desire to create a definition of southern  that could include me, however. Is this impulse a wish for a benign vision of my regional identity–one that would place me outside the oppressive structures of power that shape normative definitions of southern? Is it a search for a place of innocence? Whom would a potential reconciliation serve, and whom would it serve best? And perhaps most important (to return to the issue of my own assumptions about what constitutes “southern”) who is this “we” I wish to make visible?

– Donna Jo Smith

Towards a Cosmic Model of Intersectionality

What physical models and/or scientific analogies can we appropriate to better understand Intersectionality?

By this I mean–are there more robust models for conceiving Intersectionality that exceed the parameters of longitude and latitude that so often dominate discourses of Intersectionality? It seems to me that the first step is to throw away a 2-dimensional conception of intersectionality–to instead add that crucial Z-Axis that gives Intersectionality–and life itself–profound depth.

Not all intersections are created equal, and intersections themselves interact and affect each other, each of them with an individual weight that–just as it does on a cosmic scale–carries gravity, and it is this force which is responsible metaphorically for the dynamic and interactive nature of intersecting identities and various other structures of affinity that have become crucial to identity formation in the twenty-first century.

Justin Lutz, “Towards a Cosmic Model of Intersectionality”, 2013