Accepted paper:

Belonging elsewhere: queer and anthropological failures

Authors:

Paul Boyce (University of Sussex)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores anthropological and queer sexual subjectivities as modes of ‘outside belonging.’ Synergies and ruptures in aspiring to achieve a sense of ‘belonging elsewhere’ are explored as mutual attributes of anthropological subjectivity and queer subjectification.

Paper long abstract:

This paper explores anthropological and queer sexual subjectivities as modes of 'outside belonging.' Synergies and ruptures in aspiring to achieve a sense of 'belonging elsewhere' are explored as mutual attributes of anthropological subjectivity and queer subjectification. Drawing on ethnographic work with transgender and same-sex desiring people in Kolkata, India, conducted at different times, over a number of years, the paper employs a reflexive, autobiographical approach to consider failures of belonging as quotidian moments of insight into a queer anthropological standpoint. Inasmuch as the paper employs a first-person narrative the reliable authorial voice is queried. Rather an unreliable narrative mode is explored, offering potential insights into the partial and assembled nature of queer life-worlds - ethnographically particular, but countering claims to authenticity and identity. Resisting any consistent sense of knowing self or other, the paper posits a focus on a displaced sense of being as a queer ethnographic stance. This mirrors a displacement of queer anthropological work within much of the orthodox (European) academy, whilst offering a perspective that might posit anthropological and queer dialogues.

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