DOI link for Introduction
This volume brings together a diverse range of critical interventions within the interdisciplinary field of sexuality and gender studies. The collection as a whole explores topical and emergent debates within the field and seeks to encourage new ways of thinking about the connections and tensions between sexual politics, citizenship, multiple identifications and belonging. We focus here in particular on three interlinked thematic areas that we believe deserve particular attention: sexuality in relation to citizenship, nationalism and international borders; sexuality and ‘race’; and sexuality and religion. The choice of these thematic foci is partly a reflection of personal and political concerns which are important to each of the co-editors (see e.g. Reynolds 2001, 2005; Rogers 2012, 2015; Stella 2007, 2013, 2014; Taylor et al. 2010; Taylor and Snowdon 2014). It was also inspired, however, by ongoing and often heated debates around ‘sexual nationalisms’, which have been particularly prominent in queer and feminist circles at least since the publication of Puar’s Terrorist Assemblages (Puar 2007) and have been variously articulated as ‘homonationalism’ (Puar 2007) or ‘femonationalism’ (Farris 2012). In revisiting debates around sexual citizenship and belonging, our contributors engage more or less explicitly with these perspectives. It has been argued that changes in sexual and intimate lives across the globe have led to the progressive democratisation of sexual relations and the trans-national mainstreaming of notions of gender and sexual equality (Giddens 1992; Weeks 2007). These perspectives, however, have been challenged by research highlighting persistent disparities in gender and sexuality equality across nation-states (Stychin 2003; Roseneil, Halsaa and Sumer 2012), conservative backlashes against the globalisation of sexual and reproductive rights (Waites and Kollman 2009; Stella and Nartova, this volume) and enduring inequalities and tensions within the diverse communities ostensibly represented by LGBT and feminist politics (Taylor et al. 2010; Lutz et al. 2011).