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Affects, Bodies and Desire: ‘Queering’ Methods and Methodologies to Research Queer Migration

Di Feliciantonio, C and Gadelha, KB (2017) Affects, Bodies and Desire: ‘Queering’ Methods and Methodologies to Research Queer Migration. Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, 108 (3). pp. 275-288. ISSN 0040-747X

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Abstract

© 2016 Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG In this paper we discuss the main methodological issues raised by a research project we carried out between 2012 and 2013 about Italian queer ‘creative’ migration in Berlin, focusing on the tensions among mobility/movement, desire, bodies, affects and fieldwork. Following an increasing international debate on the topic, the contribution discusses the (im)possibility to develop a queer method or methodology. We stress how ‘queering’ methodologies and methods is not an ontological position pre-assumed when conducting research with queer-identified subjects, but is a process of dismantling taken-for-granted, stable, monolithic categories and identities. In order to do so, the paper discusses positionalities, situated knowledge and the different interactions – with both human and non-human actors – shaping the field. Through analysing body performances in the terms introduced by Taylor, ‘a politics of becoming’ emerges as a way to consider the relation between sexualities and spaces. The ‘objects’ of our research, that is, queer migrants, can thus be reframed following Braidotti's conceptualisation of the ‘nomadic subject’ and Deleuze and Guattari's ‘desiring machines’. Since they are shaped by affects, personal trajectories are exceptional and unique, composing new territorial materialities.

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