Itinerant Sex: Geopolitics as Critique
Chapter 3 interrogates how histories of region constitute robust histories of sexuality, and what critical lessons are to be learned from such a shift in historical orientation. How do histories of sexuality trouble the heightened divide between the de/colonial and the post/colonial turn? Eschewing the conventional segregation of spatialities (Latin American studies versus South Asian studies) that often undergirds the force of the decolonial turn, this chapter engages the emergence of the Samaj in the fraught contexts of colonial Portuguese India. In so doing, the chapter poses one central historiographical question: How do the vernaculars, temporalities, and spatialities that make “sex” intelligible as object and archive summon itinerant geopolitical forms (Portuguese in South Asia) that are often left behind? Itinerant sex calls for historiographical forms that muddle the theoretical pathways that suture geopolitics to forms (refused or otherwise) of region, area, nation.