This essay reviews two books, M. Jacqui Alexander's Pedagogies of Crossing: Meditations on Feminism, Sexual Politics, Memory, and the Sacred and Gayatri Gopinath's Impossible Desires: Queer Diasporas and South Asian Public Cultures, both of which focus on the intersections of queer studies with diaspora studies, area studies, and postcolonial theory. These books help forge the burgeoning field of “queer diasporas,” which works against the genealogical and heteronormative reproductive logic of conventional diaspora studies. At the same time, the field of queer diasporas also provincializes queer studies by considering how questions of race, colonialism, migration, and globalization affect bodies and sexualities as they circulate outside the metropolitan West—across the Black Atlantic to the Caribbean in Alexander's case and across the Brown Atlantic to various locales of the South Asian diaspora in Gopinath's study. As sexuality travels in the global system, we witness its transformation into many other things: a discourse of development; a dialectic of Enlightenment; an emblem of democracy, progress, and liberation; a tale of racial, religious, or cultural barbarism; an index of the human, human rights, and human rights abuses.

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