Queer activist intersections in Southeast Asia: human rights and cultural studies

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Offord, B 2013, 'Queer activist intersections in Southeast Asia: human rights and cultural studies', Asian Studies Review: Special Issue: Human Rights in Asia, vol. 37, no. 3, pp. 335-349.

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The practice of human rights elicits a range of theoretical positions and problems in relation to advocacy across Southeast Asia. This raises questions about the universal nature of human rights, the problem of cultural imperialism and the dynamic of the local and the global. These questions become heightened when connected to queer or LGBT issues. This paper focuses on the intersections of queer scholarship, activism and human rights in relation to LGBT asylum seekers from Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia in order to explore the potentialities, possibilities and difficult challenges queer activists and scholars face in translating human rights principles, values and actions across and between modes of activist communication. A special purpose of the paper is to explore how the discipline of cultural studies and its attention to everyday lives, identity, self-reflexivity and socio-cultural context offers a scholarship that is specifically attuned to the problematics and complexity of human rights and queer activism and their application in researching these Southeast Asian contexts.

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