A Coincidence of Desires: Anthropology, Queer Studies, by Tom Boellstorff

By Tom Boellstorff

In A twist of fate of Desires, Tom Boellstorff considers how interdisciplinary collaboration among anthropology and queer reviews may increase either fields. For greater than a decade he has visited Indonesia, either as an anthropologist exploring gender and sexuality and as an activist fascinated with HIV prevention paintings. Drawing on those studies, he presents numerous in-depth case reports, essentially in regards to the lives of Indonesian males who time period themselves gay (an Indonesian-language note that overlaps with, yet doesn't correspond precisely to, the English observe “gay”). those case reviews placed interdisciplinary learn methods into perform. they're preceded and via theoretical meditations at the best types that collaborations among queer reviews and anthropology may well take. Boellstorff makes use of theories of time to invite how a version of “coincidence” could open up new percentages for cooperation among the 2 disciplines. He additionally juxtaposes his personal paintings with different students’ stories of Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore to match queer sexualities throughout Southeast Asia. In doing so, he asks how comparability will be understood as a queer venture and the way queerness should be understood as comparative.

The case experiences contained in A accident of Desires communicate to questions about the relation of sexualities to nationalism, faith, and globalization. They comprise an exam of zines released via gay Indonesians; an research of bahasa gay—a slang spoken through gay Indonesians that's more and more appropriated in Indonesian pop culture; and an exploration of where of warias (roughly, “male-to-female transvestites”) inside of Indonesian society. Boellstorff additionally considers the stress among Islam and sexuality in gay Indonesians’ lives and a chain of incidents during which teams of fellows, pointed out with Islamic fundamentalism, violently attacked gatherings of gay males. jointly, those reports insist at the primacy of empirical research to any queer reviews undertaking that wants to talk to the specificities of lived experience.

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