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A Taste For Brown BodiesGay Modernity and Cosmopolitan Desire$
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Hiram Perez

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781479818655

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479818655.001.0001

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The Global Taste for Queer

The Global Taste for Queer

(p.77) 3 The Global Taste for Queer
A Taste For Brown Bodies

Hiram Pérez

NYU Press

This chapter situates Tomas Gutiérrez Alea’s film Fresa y chocolate (1993) next to José Martí’s essay, “Nuestra America” (1891), in order to explore the entanglements of race and sexuality in each text. Considering how gay male spectatorship in the US projects a problematic variety of cosmopolitanism onto the film; alternatively, the chapter insists on reading the film within its more local context, situating it as a contemporary expression of Martí’s foundational yet anxious nationalism. The theme of seduction in Fresa y chocolate (Strawberry and Chocolate)—the gay Diego’s seduction of the communist youth David—mirrors both the project of reconciliation to which the Cuban state deployed the film internationally as well as the Anglo American projection of erotic desire onto a fetishized Cuba. The global taste for queer cinema (Gabilondo) then directs us back to modern gay male identity’s need for and production of the brown body.

Keywords:   brown body, cosmopolitanism, Cuba, Joseba Gabilondo, José Martí, nationalism, queer cinema, spectatorship, Tomas Gutiérrez Alea

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