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Accepted Paper:

Heterosexual intimacy as strategy of emplacement and mobility catalyst for Canadian women in a relationship with a man from the Global South  
Karine Geoffrion (Université Laval)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines the intricate relationship between mobility, place, love and (hetero)sexuality for Canadian women who fall in love and have sex with a man from the Global South. Intimacy redefines women's sense of belonging and emplacement; and intensifies their transnational mobility.

Paper long abstract:

In his novel Comment faire l'amour avec un nègre sans se fatiguer, Laferrière suggests that white women who sleep with an African man might "wake up the next morning under a baobab tree discussing tribal affairs with village women". Drawing on narratives of Canadian women in a relationship with a man from the Global South, this paper explores the intricate relationship between mobility, place, love and sexuality. More specifically, I examine how heterosexual intimacy with men from the Global South contributes to the women's sense of belonging and emplacement in the place of origin of their partner, whether they have met their partner though travels or online. Following Morrison's argument that (hetero)sexuality is central to everyday practices of homemaking (2012), I suggest that romantic love and sex with a non-Canadian man become key to understanding 1) how a place of transit becomes a home for Canadian women travelling abroad; and 2) how a faraway country becomes a pole of attraction, and the intense focus of transnational mobility for Canadian women, some of whom had never travelled before falling in love with a non-Canadian man. Thus, contrarily to Paula Ebron's (1997) understanding of tourist women in relationships with local men as "women out-of-place", the Canadian women in my study become more firmly grounded in place in the Global Souths through their intimate relationship. I argue that love for a man and love for a place become intertwined, and that love-related mobility should be understood in relation to emplacement and belonging.

Panel P164
Intimacy in the Time of Globalization: Anthropology Exploring the Intersection of Love, Sexuality and Mobility
  Session 1 Wednesday 22 July, 2020, -