Queer(y)ing Freedom: Black Queer Visibilities in Postapartheid South Africa

Event Date: 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - 4:00pm

Event Location: 

  • South Hall 4631A

The IHC's New Sexualities Research Focus Group


In this talk, Xavier Livermon argues that liberation is as much a sociocultural construct as it is a political or economic one. Extending the South African queer scholar Mikki van Zyl's analysis of the distinction between citizenship and belonging, Livermon examines the concept of freedom in postapartheid South Africa through the lens of black queer bodies. Through an analysis of Cheaters, a popular radio program broadcast in Soweto; the late kwaito star Lebo Mathosa; and ethnographic observation in the form of “quotidian conversations,” he illuminates the contested terrain of queer sexuality in contemporary South Africa, particularly its intersection with class and race. Exploring how black queer bodies test the limits of freedom and liberation, Livermon exposes both the possibilities and the contradictions of the postapartheid state. 
Xavier Livermon is currently assistant professor of Africana Studies at Wayne State University.  His current project, “Its About Time”: Kwaito Music and the Performance of Freedom in Post-Apartheid South Africa examines popular music and performance in the context of political change.  His new project, entitled Queer(y)ing Freedom: Black Queer Subjectivities in Post-Apartheid South Africa examines the contested nature of black queer belonging in contemporary South Africa.  His research interests include Black Popular Music, Black Performance, Black Queer Studies, and African Diaspora Studies
For more information, please contact laurenclark@umail.ucsb.edu