Out in Public: Reinventing Lesbian / Gay Anthropology in a Globalizing World / Edition 1

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Out in Public addresses, and engages us in, the new and exciting directions in the emerging field of lesbian/gay anthropology. The authors confront the uneasy relationships between lesbian/gay anthropology and applied/public anthropology, whose practitioners have long insisted on a more objective, detached, and apolitical approach to problem-identification and practical problem-solving.

The book focuses on the authors' engagements in the everyday lives of lesbian/gay people, and describes the strategies that they, as public anthropologists, have used to promote effective intervention and change in LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual] communities. They report with candor on issues such as minority or transgressive sexualities and genders that have increasingly become central to political discourses both in the West and in the developing world. They illustrate how these developments occur not in isolation from one another, but as part of dialogues that are intensified by globalization and transnational flows of people and information. Readers will be intrigued by the complex intellectual, political, and theoretical developments that mark this developing field in anthropology. The authors of Out in Public offer a deeper conversation about the meaning of sexuality, subjectivity and culture.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"Lewin and Leap have done it again. Out in Public is aninnovative collection of essays focusing on anthropology’splace in public debates over lesbian/gay lives. This bookdemonstrates the crucial contributions that lesbian/gayanthropology can offer contemporary debates over sexuality andjustice."
Tom Boellstorff, University of California, Irvine

"For the contributors to this fine volume, practicinganthropology in public is not about "problem-solving." Rather, to be out in practice is to use anthropology to protest thedominant gender order."
Richard Handler, University of Virginia

"Lewin and Leap have collected many intriguing insights aboutthe neoliberal global order, real-world problems, and non-normativesexualities and genders.  Those looking for sharp analyses ofcontemporary sexual politics will find Out inPublic to be indispensable It is atimely and fascinating read that demonstrates, once again, thecentrality of lesbian/gay studies in anthropology to the field atlarge and to the wider academy."
Jeff Maskovsky, Queen’s College, CityUniversity of New York

"Insightful, rich portraits of Gay/Lesbian communities as theycome Out in Public in Nicaragua, Thailand, Mexico, Nigeria, Europe,Singapore and the U.S. Anthropologists engage in contemporarydebates such as gay marriage, gay fatherhood, LGBT rights, andHIV/AIDS prevention. Critical, sensitive, and compellingreading."
Louise Lamphere, University of New Mexico

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405191029
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 5/12/2009
  • Series: Readings in Engaged Anthropology Series , #2
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Ellen Lewin is Professor of Women’s Studies andAnthropology at the University of Iowa. She is the author ofLesbian Mothers: Accounts of Gender in American Culture(Cornell University Press, 1993) and Recognizing Ourselves:Lesbian and Gay Ceremonies of Commitment (Columbia UniversityPress, 1998), and the editor of Inventing Lesbian Cultures inAmerica (Beacon Press, 1996) and of Feminist Anthropology: AReader (Blackwell, 2006). With William L. Leap, she hasco-edited two volumes of essays on lesbian and gay anthropology,Out in the Field: Reflections of Lesbian and GayAnthropologists (University of Illinois Press, 1996) and Outin Theory: The Emergence of Lesbian and Gay Anthropology(University of Illinois Press, 2002).

William Leap is Professor of Anthropology at AmericanUniversity. He is the author of Word’s Out: GayMen’s English (University of Minnesota Press, 1996), andeditor of Public Sex, Gay Space (Columbia University Press,1999) and co-editor of Speaking in Queer Tongues: Globalizationand Gay Language (University of Illinois Press, 2004). WithEllen Lewin, he has co-edited Out in the Field and Out inTheory.

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Table of Contents


Notes on Contributors.

Editors’ Introduction.

Part I. Out in Public: Reflecting on Experience.

1. My Date with Phil Donahue: A Queer Intellectual in TV-Land(Esther Newton, University of Michigan).

2. Changes and Challenges: Ethnography, Homosexuality, and HIVPrevention Work in Guadalajara (Héctor Carrillo, San FranciscoState University).

3. Going Home Ain’t Always Easy: Ethnography and thePolitics of Black Responsibility (E. Patrick Johnson, NorthwesternUniversity).

Part II. Sexual Sameness is not a Self-EvidentTerrain.

4. The Personal Isn’t Always Political (Karen Brodkin,University of California, Los Angeles).

5. Who’s Gay? What’s Gay?: Dilemmas of IdentityAmong Gay Fathers (Ellen Lewin, University of Iowa).

6. A Queer Situation: Poverty, Prisons, and Performances ofInfidelity and Instability in the New Orleans Lesbian Anthem(Natasha Sandraya Wilson, University of Iowa).

Part III. Unpacking the Engagements between Sexuality andBroader Ideological Positions.

7. Tuskegee on the "Down Low": A Bioculturalist Brings the Pastinto the Present (Rachel Watkins, American University).

8. Back and Forth to the Land: Negotiating Rural and UrbanSexuality Among the Radical Faeries (Scott Morgensen, MacalasterCollege).

9. The Power of Stealth: (In)Visible Sites of Female-to-MaleTranssexual Resistance (Elijah Adiv Edelman, AmericanUniversity).

10. Rumsfeld!: Consensual BDSM and "Sadomasochistic Torture" atAbu Ghraib (Margot Weiss, Wesleyan University).

11. Professional Baseball, Urban Restructuring and (Changing)Gay Geographies in Washington DC (William L. Leap, AmericanUniversity).

Part IV. International and Local Formations of Same-Sex andTransgender Identities.

12. Public Sex:The Geography of Female Homoeroticism and the(In)Visibility of Female Sexualities (Megan Sinnott, Georgia StateUniversity).

13. Neither in the Closet nor on the Balcony: Private Lives andPublic Activism in Nicaragua (Florence Babb, University ofFlorida).

14. Life Lube:Discursive Spheres of Sexuality, Science, and AIDS(Harris Solomon, Brown University).

15. Man Marries Man in Nigeria? (Rudolf Gaudio, State Universityof New York College, Purchase)

Part V. Sexuality and Neo-liberal Citizenship.

16. LGBT Rights in the European Union, a Queer Affair? (MarkGraham, University of Stockholm).

17. Turning the Lion City Pink?: Interrogating Singapore’sGay Civil Servant Statement (Chris Tan, University of Illinois,Urbana-Champaign).

18. The Marriage between Kinship and Sexuality in NewMexico’s Domestic Partnership Debate (Lavinia Nicolae,University of New Mexico).

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