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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 experiences could improve either fields. For greater than a decade he has visited Indonesia, either as an anthropologist exploring gender and sexuality and as an activist focused on HIV prevention paintings. Drawing on those reports, he offers numerous in-depth case reports, basically in regards to the lives of Indonesian males who time period themselves gay (an Indonesian-language observe that overlaps with, yet doesn't correspond precisely to, the English observe “gay”). those case experiences placed interdisciplinary learn ways into perform. they're preceded and via theoretical meditations at the best kinds that collaborations among queer reviews and anthropology could take. Boellstorff makes use of theories of time to invite how a version of “coincidence” may perhaps open up new chances 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 undertaking and the way queerness can be understood as comparative.

The case reviews contained in A twist of fate of Desires converse to questions on the relation of sexualities to nationalism, faith, and globalization. They comprise an exam of zines released by way of gay Indonesians; an research of bahasa gay—a slang spoken by means of 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 Indonesian society. Boellstorff additionally considers the stress among Islam and sexuality in gay Indonesians’ lives and a sequence of incidents within 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 reports venture that desires to talk to the specificities of lived experience.

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