Le Queer Impérial

Male homoerotic desire in francophone colonial and postcolonial literature


In Le Queer Impérial Julin Everett explores the taboo subject of male homoerotic desire between black Africans and white Europeans in francophone colonial and postcolonial literatures. Everett exposes the intersection of power and desire in blanc-noir relationships in colonial and postcolonial black Africa and postimperial Europe. Reading these literatures for their portrayals of race, gender and sexuality, Everett begins a conversation about personal and political violence in the face of forbidden desires.

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Julin Everett, Ph.D. (2010), UCLA, is an Assistant Professor of French at Ursinus College, who has published articles on black Africa and the Caribbean. Her work on self-representation includes the art installation Scene/Unseen on Jewish wearers of the yellow star.
"Throughout, Everett is [...] careful to emphasize that homoerotic desire can offer continuity with aspects of colonial discourse rather than suggest a liberation from colonial dynamics. [Her] exploration of homophobia in her corpus—as well as in the theoretical writings of thinkers such as Frantz Fanon—is particularly sophisticated and will be of interest to researchers interested in the enduring power of traditions that shape how African male sexuality is represented and understood."
- Aedi'ni Ni'Loingsigh, University of Stirling UK, in French Studies: A Quarterly Review Vol. 74.2 2020 pp. 332-333

"Julin Everett’s Le Queer Impérial is an insightful and educational read for any scholar interested in Francophone literature and culture of black Africa, both colonial and postcolonial. Everett’s work is critical for literary scholars of black Africa since, as she highlights so well in her introduction, literary analysis of colonial and postcolonial African literature has not been done in this fashion. Even more impactful is her choice of corpus, composed of white European and black African authors, which underlines a trajectory for how readers can better understand the evolution (if we choose to use the term) of homoerotic desire and depiction in colonial and postcolonial Francophone Africana literature. Everett turns the tacit of homoerotic desire in black Africa into explicit knowledge for the readers of her work."
- Daniel Maroun, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign USA, in H-France Review Vol. 19 (July 2019), No. 143

Le Queer Impérial more than succeeds in its aim to provide ‘a new approach to reading male homoerotic desire and domination in Francophone colonial and postcolonial texts’ (6). By significantly advancing the fields of postcolonial studies and gender and sexuality studies to the often-neglected study of Black Africa, Everett’s kaleidoscopic analysis of homoeroticism paves the way for future transnational considerations.”
- Ryan Joyce, Tulane University USA, in sx salon Vol. 37 2021
Introduction: Passages à l’acte: Political and Textual Violence in Francophone Colonial and Postcolonial Literatures

1 Colonial Sexting: Homoerotic Voyeurism in La Femme et l’Homme nu by Pierre Mille and André Demaison, and Makako, singe d’Afrique by Herman Grégoire

2 “Entre hommes et sous l’équateur”: Colonial Masculinity, Race and Desire in Makako, singe d’Afrique

3 Nothing but a Thing: The African Male as Fetishist and Fetish in La Femme et l’Homme nu

4 Loving the Alien: Rape of the African Immigré in Ousmane Sembene’s Le Docker noir and Saïdou Bokoum’s Chaîne

5 Is Looking Merely the Opposite of Doing? Rape and Representation in Le Docker noir 89

6 “L’homme de couleur et le blanc”: Interracial Desire and the Fear of the Queer in Chaîne

7 Civil Servant Whores and Neocolonial Slum-Johns in Sony Labou Tansi’s Je, soussigné cardiaque and Williams Sassine’s Mémoire d’une peau

8 The Space Between: Bisexuality, Intersexuality, Albinism and the Postcolonial State in Mémoire d’une peau

9 Must la victime Be Feminine? Postcolonial Violence, Gender Ambiguity, and Homoerotic Desire in Sony Labou Tansi’s Je, soussigné cardiaque
Works Cited
All interested in colonial francophone literature, in postcolonial francophone literature and comparative analyses of the two. Readers interested in queer, gender and race studies in a black African and white European context
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