Article published in:Language/Sexuality/Affect
Edited by William L. Leap
[Journal of Language and Sexuality 7:1] 2018
► pp. 55–76
Narratives of affect
Language and feeling in black queer space
Extending the work of those who center narratives in their discussions of affect, this essay considers black queer women’s (BQW) narratives describing the sensations associated with being in and out of spaces created for and by BQW. The narratives examine emerged during ethnographic interviews I conducted in Washington, D.C. between 2012 and 2015. Many BQW living in and around Washington, D.C. socialize within what is colloquially referred to as the Scene – an amorphous, loosely connected set of social networks made up of other BQW and their allies. One of the most important and recognizable aspects of the Scene are the spaces produced for and by these social networks. I refer to these as “scene spaces.” Scene spaces are highly-affect latent sites, as people frequently talk about how space makes them feel, or how they feel in particular spaces. Thus, scene spaces serve as the focal point of this paper’s discussion.
Keywords: LGBT, black queer studies, queer theory, narrative analysis, lesbians, LGBT life in the U.S., black lesbians
Published online: 22 February 2018
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