This introduction outlines the idea of the queer customary and how various African articulations of it engage, contest, and nuance central concerns of queer theory produced in the global North, particularly around ideas of normativity—hetero and homo. It speculates on the customary’s reworking of temporality and what that reworking does to historical time and the problems and possibilities in reading the colonial archive in the search for a useable past for both lived African sexual and gendered experience and the academic study of it. The customary is seen as an iterative containment of ancestral time, a powerful form of self-fashioning in the present, and as an invitation to futurity. Brief framings of how the various essays in the special issue elaborate what we are calling the queer customary follow.

This content is only available as a PDF.

References

References
Allen, Jafari S.
2012
. “
Black/Queer/Diaspora at the Current Conjuncture
.”
GLQ
18
, no.
2
:
211
48
.
Arondeker, Anjali; Patel, Geeta.
2016
. “
Area Impossible: Notes toward an Introduction
.”
GLQ
22
, no.
2
:
151
71
.
Belcher, Wendy L.
2016
. “
Same Sex Intimacies in the Early African Text Gädlä Wälättä P. et.ros (1672): Queer Reading an Ethiopian Woman Saint
.”
Research in African Literatures
47
, no.
2
:
20
45
.
Biruk, C.
2014
. “
Aid for Gays: The Moral and the Material in ‘African Homophobia’ on Post-2009 Malawi
.”
Journal of Modern African Studies
52
, no.
3
:
447
73
.
Camminga, B.
2017
. “
Categories and Queues: The Structural Realities of Gender and the South African Asylum System
.”
Transgender Studies Quarterly
4
, no.
1
:
61
72
.
Chatterjee, Partha.
2004
.
The Politics of the Governed: Reflections on Popular Politics in Most of the World
.
New York
:
Columbia University Press
.
Comaroff, Jean; Comaroff, John L.
2011
.
Theory from the South: Or, How Euro-America Is Evolving toward Africa
.
Boulder, CO
:
Paradigm
.
Comaroff, John L.; Roberts, Simon.
1981
.
Rules and Processes: The Cultural Logic of Dispute in an African Context
.
Chicago
:
University of Chicago Press
.
Currier, Ashley; Migraine-George, Theŕèse.
2016
. “
Queer Studies/African Studies: "An (Im/)possible Transaction?
GLQ
22
, no.
2
:
281
305
.
Derrida, Jacques.
1995
.
Specters of Marx: The State of Debt, the Work of Mourning, and the New International
. Translated by Kamuf, Peggy.
New York
:
Routledge
.
Ekine, Sokari.
2013
. “
Contesting Narratives of Queer Africa
.” In
Queer African Reader
, edited by Ekine, Sokari; Abbas, Hakima,
78
91
.
Dakar
:
Pambazuka Press
.
El-Tayeb, Fatima.
2011
.
European Others: Queering Ethnicity in Postnational Europe
.
Minneapolis
:
University of Minnesota Press
.
Epprecht, Marc.
2008
.
Heterosexual Africa? The History of an Idea from the Age of Exploration to the Age of AIDS
.
Durban
:
KwaZulu-Natal Press
.
Fiereck, Kirk.
2017
. “
The Queer Custom of Non-Human Personhood
.”
Queer-Feminist Science and Technology Studies Forum
2
, no.
1
:
39
43
. .
Fiereck, Kirk.
2018
. “
Queer Customs, Customarily Queer
.”
Medicine Anthropology Theory
5
, no.
1
. .
Graeber, David.
2014
. “
Anthropology and the Rise of the Professional-Managerial Class
.”
Journal of Ethnographic Theory
3
:
73
88
.
Gantsho, Vangile.
2018
.
red cotton
.
Tshwane, South Africa
:
Impepho Press
.
Guy, Jeff.
1997
.
An Accommodation of Patriarchs: Theophilus Shepstone and the Foundations of the System of Native Administration in Kwa-Zulu Natal
.
London
:
Institute of Commonwealth Studies
.
Hoad, Neville.
2016
. “
Queer Customs against the Law
.”
Research in African Literatures
47
, no.
2
:
1
19
.
Hoad, Neville; Osinubi, Taiwo, eds.
2016
. “
Queer Valences in African Literatures and Film
.” Special issue,
Research in African Literatures
47
, no.
2
.
Holland, Sharon P.
2012
.
The Erotic Life of Racism
.
Durham, NC
:
Duke University Press
,
2012
.
Livermon, Xavier.
2015
. “
Usable Traditions: Creating Sexual Autonomy in Postapartheid South Africa
.”
Feminist Studies
41
, no.
1
:
14
41
.
Macharia, Keguro.
2013
. “
Queer Kenya in Law and Policy
.” In
Queer Africa Reader
, edited by Sokari Ekine and Hakima Abbas,
273
89
.
Dakar
:
Pambazuka Press
.
Macharia, Keguro.
2017
. “
African Pleasure (in 5 Movements)
.”
Gukiwa
,
November
7
. .
Mamdani, Mahmood. (
1996
)
2018
.
Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa, Decentralized Despotism, and the Legacy of Late Colonialism
.
Princeton, NJ
:
Princeton University Press
.
Massad, Joseph A.
2007
.
Desiring Arabs
.
Chicago
:
University of Chicago Press
,
2007
.
Matebeni, Zethu.
2014
.
Reclaiming Afrikan: Queer Perspectives on Sexual and Gender Identities
.
Johannesburg
:
Modjaji Press
.
Matebeni, Zethu; Msibi, Thabo.
2015
. “
Vocabularies of the Non-normative
.”
Agenda
29
, no.
1
:
3
9
.
Morris, Rosalind.
2007
. “
Legacies of Derrida: Anthropology
.”
Annual Review of Anthropology
36
:
355
89
.
Mupotsa, Danai S.
2015
. “
Becoming Girl-Woman-Bride
.”
Girlhood Studies
8
, no.
3
:
73
87
.
Musangi, Neo S.
2018
. “
Homing with My Mother/How Women in My Family Married Women
.”
Meridians
17
, no.
2
:
401
14
.
Musila, Grace A.
2019
. “
Against Collaboration: Or the Native Who Wanders Off
.”
Journal of African Cultural Studies
31
, no.
3
:
286
93
.
Nkabinde, Nkunzi Zandile.
2008
.
Black Bull, Ancestors and Me: My Life as a Lesbian Sangoma
.
Johannesburg
:
Jacana
.
Nyanzi, Stella.
2013
. “
Dismantling Reified African Culture through Localized Homosexuality in Uganda
.”
Culture, Health, and Society
15
, no.
8
:
952
67
.
Nyanzi, Stella; Emodu-Walakira, Margaret.
2009
. “
The Widow, Will, and Widow-Inheritance in Kampala: Revisiting Victimisation Arguments
.”
Canadian Journal of African Studies/La Revue Canadienne des Études Africaines
43
, no.
1
:
12
33
.
Okech, Awino.
2019
.
Widow Inheritance and Contested Citizenship in Kenya
.
London
:
Routledge
.
Ombagi, Eddie.
2019
. “
Nairobi is a Shot of Whiskey: Queer (Ob)Scenes in the City
.”
Journal of African Cultural Studies
31
, no.
1
:
106
19
.
Osinubi, Taiwo.
2016
. “
Queer Prolepsis and the Sexual Commons: An Introduction
.” Special issue,
Research in African Literatures
47
, no.
2
:
vii
xxiii
.
Oyěwùmí, Oyèrónké..
1997
.
The Invention of Women: Making an African Sense of Western Gender Discourses
.
Minneapolis
:
University of Minnesota Press
.
Qambela, Gcobani.
2019
. “
‘Mna Ndiyayazi Uba Ndizotshata Intombazana’, ‘I for One Know That I Will Marry a Woman’: (Re) Creating ‘Family’ and Reflections on Rural Lesbian Women’s Experiences of Child Rearing and Kinship
.” In
Queer Kinship: South African Perspectives on the Sexual Politics of Family-Making and Belonging
, edited by Morison, Tracy; Lynch, Ingrid; Reddy, Vasu,
106
18
.
Pretoria
:
UNISA Press
.
Qambela, Gcobani.
Forthcoming
. “
‘There Is Only One Place for Me. It Is Here, Entabeni’: Inxeba (2017), Kalushi (2016), and the Difficulties of “The Urban” for the New South African Man
.”
Social Dynamics
.
Stoler, Ann Laura.
1995
.
Race and the Education of Desire: Foucault’s History of Sexuality and the Colonial Order of Things
.
Durham, NC
:
Duke University Press
.
Tallie, T. J.
2019
.
Queering Colonial Natal: Indigeneity and the Violence of Belonging in Southern Africa
.
Minneapolis
:
University of Minnesota Press
.
Tamale, Sylvia.
2009
. “
A Human Rights Impact Assessment of the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009
.”
Equal Rights Review
4
:
47
57
.
Tinsley, Omise’eke N.
2008
. “
Black Atlantic, Queer Atlantic: Queer Imagining of the Middle Passage
.”
GLQ
14
, no.
2–3
:
191
215
.
White, Hylton.
2015
. “
Custom, Normativity and Authority in South Africa
.”
Journal of Southern African Studies
41
, no.
5
:
1005
17
.
Yarbrough, Michael W.
2018
. “
Something Old, Something New: Historicizing Same-Sex Marriage Within Ongoing Struggles in South Africa
.”
Sexualities
21
, no.
7
:
1092
1108
.
This content is made freely available by the publisher. It may not be redistributed or altered. All rights reserved.