A Decolonial Feminist Epistemology of the Bed

This compendium takes up a series of concepts as a means to think them newly from the contemporary time and place of “the bed,” where the bed is a temporal and geographical (non)location central to sick and disabled queer (SDQ) bodies and life.

Excerpted from a larger project-in-progress, this article, in part, proceeds from Lugones’s 1987 essay “Playfulness, ‘World’-Travelling, and Loving Perception.”

It strives toward articulating a decolonial feminist epistemology that is informed by queer of color, sick and disabled phenomenology and material life. We are compelled by what we might name as the work of queering and the work of sickening: methods for cultivating non-normative relationships to our bodies, our desire, our health, and to each other. In the spirit of Lugones’s notion of playfulness, we consider queer play as a methodology of ever-

unfolding liveliness that also takes seriously and honors the gravity of queer chronic illness life.

This, we propose, affirms a politics and poetics of illness that is antithetical to coloniality’s hold on the body as only of value while productive and profiting for itself and for another. A growing archive of SDQ thought and cultural material, this compendium is not necessarily intended to be read in a linear fashion.

Keywords: chronic illness, decoloniality, epistemology, queer theory


Khanmalek, T., & Rhodes, H.A.R. (2020). A Decolonial Feminist Epistemology of the Bed: A Compendium Incomplete of Sick and Disabled Queer Brown Femme Bodies of Knowledge. Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 41(1), 35-58. doi:10.1353/fro.2020.a755339.

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