Lust and Loathing across Time and Space


Book Pages: 240 Illustrations: 3 illustrations Published: December 2009

Anthropology > Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Gender and Sexuality > LGBTQ Studies

What is it about “the homosexual” that incites vitriolic rhetoric and violence around the world? How and why do some people hate queers? Does homophobia operate differently across social, political, and economic terrains? What are the ambivalences in homophobic discourses that can be exploited to undermine its hegemonic privilege? This volume addresses these questions through critical interrogations of sites where homophobic discourses are produced. It provides innovative analytical insights that expose the complex and intersecting cultural, political, and economic forces contributing to the development of new forms of homophobia. And it is a call to action for anthropologists and other social scientists to examine more carefully the politics, histories, and contexts of places and people who profess hatred for queerness.

The contributors to this volume open up the scope of inquiry into processes of homophobia, moving the analysis of a particular form of “hate” into new, wider sociocultural and political fields. The ongoing production of homophobic discourses is carefully analyzed in diverse sites including New York City, Australia, the Caribbean, Greece, India, and Indonesia, as well as American Christian churches, in order to uncover the complex operational processes of homophobias and their intimate relationships to nationalism, sexism, racism, class, and colonialism. The contributors also critically inquire into the limitations of the term homophobia and interrogate its utility as a cross-cultural designation.

Contributors. Steven Angelides, Tom Boellstorff, Lawrence Cohen, Don Kulick, Suzanne LaFont, Martin F. Manalansan IV, David A. B. Murray, Brian Riedel, Constance R. Sullivan-Blum


“I strongly recommend the edited book Homophobias for adoption in undergraduate and graduate courses in Education that address multiculturalism, diversity, and equity, gender and sexuality studies, international and comparative education, socio-cultural studies, anthropology of education, and qualitative research methods. Ultimately, Murray’s book provides both a critical lens to examine the rationalities and manifestations of homophobia, and a fervent hope to sustain struggles for dignity, humanity, and our precious lives.” — Roland Sintos Coloma, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education

“Murray has done a great job in calling together a group of queer theorists to examine a topic that heretofore has received little critical attention. . . . For anyone interested in how to think about queer theory, homosexual oppression and the effect of nationalisms and politics on desire, this volume provides new ways of looking at these old problems. This collection moves the discussion further away from queers as Others to a new paradigm in which the detractors of homosexuality are themselves brought into the focus of analysis.” — Joseph R. Hawkins, Anthropological Forum

“The essays contained in David A.B. Murray’s Homophobias: Lust and Loathing across Time and Space . . . offer one of the best considerations of what we might do with this term published in recent years.” — Leigh Boucher, The Australian Journal of Anthropology

Homophobias is a well-edited collection of how homophobia is captured across cultures, time, and space. It also questions how homophobia—an exclusive prejudice against homosexuals—can exist as a universal form of discrimination, and how that discrimination can exist in various forms from political emasculation to violent attacks. Homophobias serves as an important collection of works with which to move past preconceived ideas of what one thinks constitutes homophobia.” — Olupero R. Aiyenimelo, Feminist Review blog

Homophobias provides a much-needed perspective for bringing the reader to a more objective understanding of the mechanics of GLBT hatred and rhetoric in other times and places.” — Brian Stachowiak, Gay & Lesbian Review

“[A] splendid collection of essays. . . . This book is a must for anyone interested in anthropological fieldwork methods as well as theories of homosexuality.” — Kathleen Richardson, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

“A major strength of this anthology is its attention to the roles of both colonialism (as a precedent of contemporary globalizing processes) and contemporary political, economic, and social changes on the development of attitudes toward sexuality and gender in postcolonial contexts.” — Amy L. Brandzel and Jara M. Carrington, Journal of Anthropological Research

“The essays bring careful attention to the conceptual pitfalls of typical understandings of homophobia and look instead for the complex cultural logics and constellation of social, political, and economic factors that undergird antihomosexual expressions. Ultimately, Homophobias invites us to rethink what we mean by ‘homophobia’ and to think more complexly about the particular, changing sources and meanings of antihomosexual phenomena.” — Karl Bryant, GLQ


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

David A. B. Murray is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Graduate Program in Women’s Studies at York University in Toronto. He is the author of Opacity: Gender, Sexuality, Race, and the “Problem” of Identity in Martinique.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Preface vii

Introduction / David A. B. Murray 1

Part One. Displacing Homophobia

1. Can There Be an Anthropology of Homophobia? / Don Kulick 19

2. Homophobia at New York's Gay Central / Martin F. Manalansan IV 34

3. "It's Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" / Constance R. Sullivan Blum 48

4. The Homosexualization of Pedophilia / Steven Angelides 64

5. Stolen Kisses / Brian Riedel 82

Part Two. Transnational Homophobia

6. Not Quite Redemption Song / Suzanne LaFont 105

7. The Emergence of Political Homophobia in Indonesia / Tom Boellstorff 123

8. Homo Hauntings / David A. B. Murray 146

9. Lucknow Noir / Lawrence Cohen 162

Epilogue: What Is to Be (Un)Done? / David A. B. Murray 185

Bibliography 193

Contributors 221

Index 223
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Winner, 2010 Ruth Benedict Prize (Outstanding Anthology category), presented by the American Anthropological Association

Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-4598-5 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-4582-4
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