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How are nationality and sexuality related? What is gained and what is lost when sexuality is framed in terms of identity politics, and what is the role of the nation-state in this process? Though nationality is one of many terms that connote aspects of subjectivity, such as gender, race, and class, it distinguishes itself as a metanarrative with a long history of conferring legitimacy on political issues. Critical analyses of nationalisms in the era of late capitalism highlight the disparity between traditional understandings of national boundaries, contemporary patterns of immigration, and globalized economies. Similar contestations of boundaries occur in relation to sexuality, such as we find in Queer Theory, encouraging a careful analysis of how nationalism and sexuality might be understood as co-determinant systems, each influencing the other’s intelligibility. Select lesbian novels are particularly illustrative of the complexity of the relation of nationalism to sexuality, depicting the formation of bonds between women in close relation or in opposition to nationalist discourse. The novels and films investigated in this present study span a variety of nations and languages (Catalan, English, Portuguese, and Spanish) facilitating both national and transnational connections and an analysis of nationalisms and sexualities1 in multiple contexts. An increase in the production of lesbian narratives is occurring in an historical period in which stable forms of social identification, such as nationality and gender roles, are in flux. How these two phenomena intersect is the focus of this book.


This published version is made available on Dickinson Scholar with the permission of the publisher, Asociación Internacional de Literatura y Cultura Femenina Hispánica (AILCFH).