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Exploring Gay Men’s Threesomes

Normalization, Concerns, and Sexual Opportunities

Ryan Scoats, Eric Anderson, and Adam J. White

Although there is abundant research regarding group sex between men, much of the current literature constructs group sex as homogenous and overlooks the nuance of how and why men engage in particular sexual behaviors. Accordingly, this research expands our understanding of group sex by focusing on a specific type of sex: the threesome. The results demonstrate how perspectives on threesomes may develop over time; at first appearing exciting before becoming relatively normalized and indistinct from dyadic sex. Encounters and exposure are fostered through the sexual opportunities available, in particular, geo-social networking apps. Despite their normalization, threesomes are not necessarily viewed as risk free. Thus, this research offers insight and understanding into how gay men engage in group sex and the contextual factors which make it possible.

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Tom Boellstorff

It is remarkable how few Westerners know that Indonesia is the fourth most populous nation (after China, India, and the United States), or that Indonesia is home to more Muslims than any other country. These basic facts should be enough to establish Indonesia’s importance for current world affairs. In this essay, however, I argue for paying attention to the life-worlds of gay and lesbian Indonesians. While this might seem an unconventional topic, these Indonesians’ lives provide valuable clues to how being ‘Indonesian’ gets defined and to the workings of nation-states more generally. They teach us how heteronormativity—the assumption that heterosexuality is the only normal or proper sexuality—plays a fundamental role in forming nation-states as “imagined communities.” In Indonesia and elsewhere, nation-states are modeled on a particular archetype of the nuclear family (husband, wife, and children, with the nation’s president as parent). In line with this model, nation-states often portray themselves as made up not just of individual citizens but of families, which almost always are assumed to be nuclear families despite the staggering range of family forms found in the world’s cultures. Restricting the family model to the heterosexual couple has been a key means by which the idea of the Indonesian nation (and other nations) has been promulgated and sustained. Thus, rather than see the exclusion of homosexuality as a latter-day response to an encroaching global gay and lesbian movement, this exclusion is most accurately understood as a point of departure by which the idea of ‘Indonesia’ comes to exist in the first place.

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Eugenia Gay, Philipp Nielsen, Emanuel Richter, and Gregor Feindt

To Build a Concept for European History Willibald Steinmetz, Michael Freeden, and Javier Fernández-Sebastián, Conceptual History in the European Space (Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2017), 320 pp. EUGENIA GAY National University of Cordoba and National

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Lady into Fox, Fox into Lady

Rewriting Lesbian Stereotypes in Summer Will Show

Gay Wachman

Intertextuality is basic to Sylvia Townsend Warner’s narratives: she is a formidably learned, effortlessly allusive writer. From her slyly absurd references to Wordsworth in the lush tropical setting of Mr. Fortune’s Maggot (1927) through her retelling of Apuleius’s Cupid and Psyche to produce an allegory of class oppression in her first historical novel, The True Heart (1929), to the densely woven intertextuality of Summer Will Show (1936), she uses allusion both to ground her apparently implausible narratives within literary history and to question and parody the politics, ‘history’, and narratology of her predecessors. It is appropriate that in this novel, where the lesbian romance in Paris is precisely coterminous with the 1848 revolution, many of the allusions are to nineteenth-century French literary history. Warner’s ‘unwriting’ of Flaubert’s L’Éducation Sentimentale has received a great deal of attention since it was first noted by Terry Castle in her 1990 theorisation of the lesbian triangular plot. Later writers, in contrast, have emphasised the allusion’s Marxist significance. Quite another fictional genealogy seems more to the point, however, when we consider Warner’s characterisation of Minna Lemuel, the revolutionary Jewish story-teller: the representation, usually by women writers, of the powerful, sexually active, sometimes evil and sometimes doomed femme artiste, as in Madame de Stael’s Corinne, Charlotte Brontë’s Villette, George Sand’s Consuelo, and Colette’s La Seconde. It is now abundantly clear that the intertextuality of Summer Will Show demonstrates that the novel is narratologically, politically, and sexually revolutionary.

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'The Bray of the Gramophones and the Voices of the Poets'

Art and Political Crises in Between the Acts

Jane de Gay

In ‘Why Art Follows Politics’, published in The Daily Worker in 1936, Virginia Woolf remarked on a change in the conditions for creativity in the late 1930s. She wrote that the artist’s studio was now ‘far from being a cloistered spot where he can contemplate his model or his apple in peace’, for it was ‘besieged by voices, all disturbing, some for one reason, some for another.’ She characterised the developing political crisis in terms of auditory disturbance or interruption, including the noises of radio news; the voices of dictators addressing the public by megaphone in the streets, and public opinion, which, Woolf wrote, called for artists to prove their social and political usefulness. In extreme political systems, artists were forced to compromise and use their work for political purposes – to ‘celebrate fascism; celebrate communism’ – in order to be allowed to practise at all.

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Jane de Gay

Virginia Woolf made a seminal contribution to feminist literary history and provided the discipline with some of its most memorable quotations. In A Room of One’s Own, she urged her audience of female students at Cambridge University to ‘rewrite history’ by seeking out figures neglected by conventional (patriarchal) histories in order to trace a female tradition, a concept she described as ‘thinking back through our mothers’.1 She sketched how such a tradition might look, tracing a line from Lady Winchilsea and Aphra Behn, Fanny Burney and Jane Austen through to George Eliot and the Brontës, considering how the conditions of these writers’ lives affected their work, and also looking at how gender might influence their use of language and choice of genre. Behind Woolf’s historical sketch lies an imaginative attempt to reclaim lost origins: Woolf notes that there was no female Shakespeare because conditions in the Renaissance would have made it impossible for a woman to write for the theatre. She creates an imaginary starting-point for her history by sketching a fictional biography of Shakespeare’s sister, Judith, whose life could only have ended in failure and suicide. Woolf concludes by urging her audience to imaginatively reclaim these lost origins in their own writings

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Siobhan B. Somerville

This article offers a first-person account of the author's experience teaching an undergraduate course on local queer culture, using her own campus as the site for primary research. The course asks how students might understand the role of Midwestern public universities in the production of queer culture. And how might such knowledge revise understandings of queer culture and its locations, both in the past and in the present? The author describes the course design, the goals of introducing undergraduate students to two scholarly methods (archival research and ethnography) and a number of original research projects undertaken by students.

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Not That Grateful

Survivor Resistance in Rape Culture

Janet Wesselius

Gay, Roxane, ed. 2018. Not that Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture . New York: Harper. “I will not be grateful” says Claire Schwartz. Many of the 29 pieces in Roxanne Gay's anthology, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture , make clear

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Reports

Publications, Films and Conferences

Jean-Pierre Digard, Leili S. Mohammadi, and Gay Breyley

PUBLICATIONS

Chatty, Dawn and Finlayson, Bill (eds.) (2009), Dispossession and Displacement: Forced Migration in the Middle East and North Africa (Oxford: Oxford University Press for the British Academy, British Academy Occasional Paper No. 14), 298 pp.

FILMS

Jalali, Babak (2009), Frontier Blues, Iran/U.K./Italy, 95 minutes.

CONFERENCES

‘Knowledge and Value in a Globalising World’, July 2011, IUAES/AAS/ASAANZ Joint Conference, University of Western Australia

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Chong-ro

A Space of Belonging for Young Gay Men in Seoul

Elias Alexander

of Seoul's gay districts) acts as a critical vehicle through which young gay men navigate a sense of self and belonging vis-à-vis sociocultural structures. In emphasizing young gay men's interaction with the Chong-ro area, this article illustrates the