Accepted paper:

Thinking transition at the margins of anthropological theory: reflections on methods and practice


Elena Gonzalez-Polledo (Goldsmiths, University of London)

Paper short abstract:

This paper reflects on my process of researching and writing about (ftm) transition as an anthropologist to explore relations between anthropology and gender, queer and trans studies as critical and political methods, practices and epistemologies.

Paper long abstract:

This paper reflects on my process of researching and writing about (ftm) transition as an anthropologist. I build on the affective learning process of getting to know transition through ethnographic, historical and interdisciplinary enquiry. As a boundary object that connects multiple communities, disciplines and forms of knowledge and practice, transition requires being thought through relations between scales and temporalities that reconfigure the boundaries of traditional anthropological models of fieldwork and theory making. Drawing on connections between aspects of fieldwork, practice and theoretical exploration in my project, I ask whether the relations between gender, queer and trans studies and anthropological theories of sexuality and gender diversity could be conceptualised as a new instance of the 'awkward relation' through which Strathern (1987) defined the differences between anthropology and feminism as methods, practices and epistemologies. Reflecting on the relations between the affordances and limits of anthropology as a disciplinary context, my paper will explore some productive adventures that might result from framing anthropological projects within these awkward -'queer'- relationalities. What futures critical and political might (and might not) emerge from these relations?

panel P058
Whatever is happening to the critical study of sexual and gender diversity in anthropology? (European Network of Queer Anthropology)