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Three Book Reviews: Virtual Intimacies: Media, Affect and Queer Sociality, Queer Nostalgia in Cinema and Pop Culture and De-stereotyping Indian Body and Desire

Virtual Intimacies: Media, Affect and Queer Sociality

Shaka McGlotten

SUNY Press, 2013

Queer Nostalgia in Cinema and Pop Culture

Gilad Padva

Palgrave Macmillan, 2014

De-stereotyping Indian Body and Desire

Edited by Kaustav Chakraborty

Cambridge Scholars Press, 2013

 

Reviewed by

Rohit K Dasgupta, Doctoral Candidate and Associate Lecturer, University of the Arts London

 

It is not everyday one comes across a fascinating book like Virtual Intimacies. Shaka McGlotten has put together a very interesting ethnographic account of queer men’s negotiation with the digital world. A study of affect within cultural studies has seen a growth in recent years with several works of scholarship exploring this area. Virtual Intimacies is an important intervention not only in the field of digital media and communication but also more largely within contemporary queer studies. The relationship between digital culture and the queer identity has been commented upon by many including Sharif Mowlabocus’ Gaydar Culture and Christopher Pullen’s edited volume LGBT Identity and Online New Media. It would not be wrong to say McGlotten’s work extends some of the boundaries of these previous works. McGlotten places himself at the centre of this enquiry, as he navigates the digitally mediated queer sites which entangle the lives of queer people both online and offline. His own position as a gay man of colour informs the way he navigates and understands the politics of and possibilities of intimacy on the cyberspace. This auto ethnography gives this book a much more stronger and personal feel. He argues that that fluidity of the cyberspace and the intimate possibilities that it (supposedly) affords have been punctured by corporeality (3). Particularities such as race and class have an obvious impact on the possibilities that this space can provide. Queer spaces as he further argues were spaces where normal rules of social intercourse were suspended, whilst none of these were ‘truly liberatory’ (4), they are testament to the expansiveness that characterises queer sexual practices…Access Full Text of the Review


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