Second Book Workshop – Jenn Tyburczy, "Queer Traffic: Sex and the Performance of Free Trade" (Virtual)

Event Date: 

Friday, May 6, 2022 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm

Event Location: 

  • Virtual | By invitation

Lechedevirgen Trimegisto from México Exhumado. Photo provided by the artist.

In the circuits through which culture travels, sex consistently emerges as a deviant and irreverent flow, the queer traffic of (free) trade. In Queer Traffic: Sex and the Performance of Free Trade, Tyburczy draws inspiration from labor, environment, and indigenous rights activists and visual and performance artists to trace dissident flows of sex and culture. Centrally, the book situates the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as a pivot point in the invention of new categories of “obscenity” and “illegal” personhood. She presents a story of how an international trade agreement nominally about the movement of goods and capital has had and continues to have a profound material influence on the level of the body. To do so, Tyburczy reads NAFTA sideways to examine the document across the time and space of the Mexico/U.S./Canada borderlands from the 1990s to the present. Proposing queer traffic as both an object and a method for conducting queer hemispheric performance research, the book reveals how NAFTA influences the circulation of erotic goods and ideas in the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries and illuminates free trade’s erotic investments in hetero- and homonormativity, racial capitalism, markets of dispossession, and (neo)colonialism. 
Readers/Participants: Macarena Gómez-Barris, Rosemary Hennessy, Juana María Rodríguez
Jennifer Tyburczy is Associate Professor of Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her first book, Sex Museums: The Politics and Performance of Display, won the 2017 Lambda Literary Award for Best Book in LGBTQ Studies. Her scholarship can also be found in GLQWomen & PerformanceRadical History ReviewQEDSignsFeminist FormationsText and Performance Quarterly, and the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies. Tyburczy’s second monograph, Queer Traffic: Sex and the Performance of Free Trade, has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the Fulbright García Robles Fellowship, the Fulbright Carlos Rico Fellowship, the University of California Humanities Research Institute, UC Mexus, the Feminist Futures Initiative, and the Chicano Studies Institute.