EASA2018: Staying, Moving, Settling

(P047)
(Un)Settling the discipline? the histories of queer_ing anthropology in Europe [ENQA Roundtable]
Location Room 21
Date and Start Time 16 Aug, 2018 at 09:00
Sessions 1

Convenors

  • Sebastian Mohr (Karlstad University) email
  • Anika Keinz (Europa-Universität Viadrina Frankfurt/O) email
  • Michael Connors Jackman (Memorial University of Newfoundland) email

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Discussant Ulrika Dahl (Uppsala University)

Short abstract

This roundtable explores the (ongoing) histories of European queer anthropology by reflecting on the specific trajectories of queer thought and scholarship within anthropology across the different national and institutional contexts of European academia.

Long abstract

Queer scholarship shifts epistemological and methodological boundaries. Radically changing how gender and sexuality can be understood and researched, queer_ing anthropology unsettled long standing traditions within European academia. Yet how queer thought made its way into anthropological debates varied across the different national and institutional contexts of European anthropology. While queer anthropology fits into some national and institutional contexts rather well, in others it does not and remains marginalized. This messy process of (un)settling the discipline needs our attention if we are to understand when and how queer_ing anthropology comes to matter and what difference it makes in the development of the discipline of anthropology. At this roundtable we thus discuss, compare, and contrast the (ongoing) histories of European queer anthropology and queer_ing anthropology in Europe. How did and does queer scholarship in European anthropology emerge? What particular obstacles did and does this scholarship face? How do queer critiques change epistemological and methodological debates, and how and where do they not? How is queer_ing anthropology combined with other critical approaches (postcolonial, trans, crip, race)? What controversies have changed, and continue to change, European queer anthropology? How does the (career) movement of scholars (re)define queer anthropology? How is the transition from queer anthropoloGISTS to queer anthropoloGY connected to the (de)professionalization and (de)institutionalization of queer_ing anthropology? By exploring these and related questions, this roundtable reflects on how queer anthropology's epistemological, methodological and analytical interventions came/come to matter within European anthropology and ethnographic knowledge production.

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.

Papers

'Queering' the social anthropologist - Emotional and self-reflexivity as a methodological tool in queer Anthropology

Author: Annika Strauss (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Germany) email
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Short abstract

By the discussion of my encounter with an Indian 'gay' psychiatric patient and its subsequent analysis I illustrate how the currently in the discipline explored methodological approach of 'self-reflexivity' serves a fruitful tool for a queer anthropology that wants to unsettle.

Long abstract

I plan to contribute to the roundtable discussion by reflecting on my transformative encounter with Ajay, an openly gay and HIV positive inpatient in a mental hospital in Mumbai, India. As an initially non-queer scholar, mainly understanding myself as a medical anthropologist, the social anthropological analysis of Ajay's queer experiences and its ethnographic contextualization caused me to also closely examine my own experiences of gender, sex and sexual encounters - and fundamentally changed these. By elaborating on my experience of being queered by people I met in the field I hope to set off a methodological discussion. I state that an emotionally and self-reflexive and questioning approach can serve as an enriching epistemological tool in a contemporary queer scholarship that wants to unsettle.

Centering cosmopolitanism in queer anthropology: Notes on class, global mobility and queer people's perceptions of homophobia in Hong Kong

Author: Ting-Fai Yu (International Institute for Asian Studies, Leiden University) email
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Short abstract

Based on an ethnographic study of class and Hong Kong gay men's perceptions of homophobia, this paper considers cosmopolitanism as a useful paradigm for contextualising the understanding of mobile and postcolonial subjects in queer anthropology.

Long abstract

For this roundtable, I will discuss two Hong Kong gay men who lived between the UK and Hong Kong and examine how their transnational experiences have shaped their perceptions of homophobia and anti-queer violence. By doing so, I will highlight the historical relevance of class and consider cosmopolitanism as a useful paradigm for contextualising the understanding of mobile and postcolonial subjects in queer anthropology.

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.