Elisabeth Lund Engebretsen: Introduction: Anthropology’s Queer Sensibilities

Written by , senior lecturer at Centre for Gender Research, from University of Sussex and  from Birkbeck, University of London. Published June 1, 2017 in Sage Journals


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This special issue addresses vital epistemological, methodological, ethical and political issues at the intersections of queer theory and anthropology as they speak to the study of sexual and gender diversity in the contemporary world.

The special issue centres on explorations of anthropology’s queer sensibilities, that is, experimental thinking in ethnographically informed investigations of gender and sexual difference, and related connections, disjunctures and tensions in their situated and abstract dimensions.

The articles consider the possibilities and challenges of anthropology’s queer sensibilities that anthropologize queer theory whilst queering anthropology in ethnographically informed analyses.

Contributors focus on anthropologizing queer theory in research on same-sex desire in Congo; LGBT migrant and asylum experience in the UK and France; same-sex intimacies within opposite gender oriented sexualities in Kenya and Ghana; secret and ambiguous intimacies and sensibilities beyond an identifiable ‘queer subject’ of rights and recognition in India; migrant imaginings of home in Indonesian lesbian relationships in Hong Kong; and cross-generational perspectives on ‘coming out’ in Taiwan, and their implications for theories of kinship and relatedness. An extensive interview with Esther Newton, the prominent figure in gay and lesbian and queer anthropology concludes the collection.

Published Nov. 20, 2017 2:43 PM - Last modified Jan. 11, 2019 1:38 PM