Thursday, January 12, 2012

WGSS Candidate Lecture: Sex Panics - Political Homophobia in Southern Africa - Jan 17th!

Please join us for the first of three lectures by job candidates for an Assistant Professor position in sexuality studies in our department:

Title: "Sex Panics: Political Homophobia in Southern Africa," Tuesday, Jan. 17, 4:30-6:00pm, 4616 French Hall

Abstract: In this presentation, Currier argues that southern African state leaders' objections to same-sex sexualities and marriage reveal deep-seated political anxieties about cultural continuity that have erupted into sex panics. Southern African state leaders use same-sex sexualities as boundary work not only to differentiate themselves from and resist the West, but also to redefine the boundaries of morality, race, and nation. Using data from her ethnographic observation of Namibian and South African LGBT organizing, she focuses particularly on how political homophobia manifested during a campaign for women's political empowerment in Namibia. Her presentation will consider the possible implications of contemporary, antigay sex panics elsewhere in southern Africa, particularly in Malawi.

Dr. Currier is the author of Visibility Matters: LGBT Organizing in Namibia and South Africa (Univ. of Minnesota Press, in press, 2012), and numerous articles in journals including Signs, Gender & Society, Qualitative Sociology, and Mobilization. She received her PhD in sociology at the University of Pittsburgh (2007) and is currently an assistant professor at Texas A&M University.

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