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Sexuality and subjectivity

Erotic practices and the question of bodily sensations

Rachel Spronk

Although the history of anthropology shows various shifts in the way sexuality has been theorised, studies of the relation between sexuality and bodily sensations have remained limited. In this article I explore the concept of body‐sensorial knowledge to understand the relation between the social significance of sexuality and erotic sensations. I argue that the sensual qualities of sexuality are mediators and shapers of social knowledge that help to understand how causal relations, such as the reconfiguration of culture, gender and sexuality in postcolonial Kenyan society, are registered in people's self‐perceptions.

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Abdessamad Dialmy

Arab scholarship of sexuality is currently emerging against many obstacles. This article provides a suggestive introduction to the current state of knowledge in the area. After briefly sketching an archetype of Arab sexuality, especially its peculiar form of phallocracy, new sexual trends are reviewed, some of which adapt current practices to Shari'a law (e.g., visitation marriages), while others break with it altogether (e.g., prostitution). The article then discusses three distinctive areas of public and policy concerns in the region, namely, honor killings, impotence and Viagra use, and sex-education programs that are precipitated by concerns over HIV/AIDS. The essay concludes with an assessment of some of the main challenges still facing research into the topic in the Arab Islamic world.

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Women and Sexuality in Contemporary Iran

When HIV Meets Government Morality

Kristin Soraya Batmanghelichi

In Iran, as in many countries worldwide, misinformation and ignorance of HIV/AIDS have encouraged a culture of secrecy and anonymity for those living with HIV. For many HIV-positive women, religious, political and economic pressures complicate their social status and access to health care. Moreover, they must contend with societal discrimination and stigmas associated with the condition. Adding nuance to contemporary studies on gender and sexuality in Iran, this report highlights the colourful narratives of a select group of HIV-positive mothers attending weekly wellness workshops in Tehran. Discussing issues of intimacy, modesty, motherhood and stigmatisation, this article explores one of Iran's expanding communities at risk of infection and the ways in which women with HIV negotiate the stigma of their condition in an Islamic Republic.

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Hiding Sexuality

The Disappearance of Sexual Discourse in the Late Ottoman Middle East

Dror Ze'evi

From Belgrade to Baghdad, from Algiers to Aleppo, sexual discourse in the pre-modern Ottoman world was rich and variegated. Its manifestations were to be found in literature and poetry, in medicine and physiognomy, in religious writings and popular culture. During the nineteenth century, much of this panoply of discussions about sex disappeared or was attenuated to such an extent that it became virtually non-existent. A similar phenomenon can be perceived in Western European attitudes toward sex several decades earlier. Yet while in Europe the old sexual discursive world was replaced with a new one in short order, the Ottoman Middle East did not produce a new sexual discourse to replace the one that vanished. This article presents some of the premises of the old Ottoman sexual discourse, describes the process of their demise, and suggests an explanation for the failure to produce a new (textual) discourse of sex.

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Processual Aesthetics and Feminist Trouble

The Comics of Rikke Villadsen

Charlotte Johanne Fabricius

Foundation. Villadsen's comics artistry expresses curiosity about the destabilising forces of sexuality and a commitment to gender trouble. This creative impulse is used to satirise genres such as the seaman's tale ( Ind fra havet [In from the sea

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Sexuality, Masculinity, and Intellectual Disability

Beyond a Focus on Regulation and Vicarious Illusions

Nathan J. Wilson and David Charnock

Research, scholarship, and theorizing about the intersection of sexuality and masculinity for men and boys with intellectual disability remains, at best, seriously limited despite decades of theorizing in the international field of masculinities

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Ambivalent Sexualities in a Transnational Context

Romanian and Bulgarian Migrant Male Sex Workers in Berlin

Victor Trofimov

sexualities. I argue that the sexual ambiguity Sergio exposed in his verbal and nonverbal behavior is neither unique for him nor merely an individual characteristic of his persona. Instead, the contradiction between Sergio's corporeal enactment of his

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The Problem of Modern Pederasty in Queer History

A Case Study of Norman Douglas

Rachel Hope Cleves

In a December 2018 state-of-the-field essay titled “The Power of Queer History,” Regina Kunzel itemizes all the ways in which recent scholarship has highlighted sexuality's function as a conduit of power. Her survey, which focuses on US history

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A Gloomy Carnival of Freedom

Sex, Gender, and Emotions among Polish Displaced Person in the Aftermath of World War II

Katarzyna Nowak

considers their lives in the immediate postwar period. It concentrates on the sexual experiences of Polish DPs, the forms and meanings of their intimate relationships, and the response of Polish community leaders. Sexuality, repressed during the war

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Čarna Brković

I propose an alternative conception of freedom in an actually existing liberal order by focusing on how gay men in Podgorica, Montenegro maintain love kinship relations. For theorists of late liberalism, the demands of liberal freedom and those of social relatedness have been seen as opposed. By contrast, in Podgorica we can trace a notion of non‐autological freedom understood as an ability to engage in a certain practice while thinking through its conditions and constraints from multiple perspectives and in a way that my interlocutors saw as respectful of others. Linking anthropological discussions of freedom with a focus on ordinary ethics, I offer an understanding of freedom as a relational category practised through an open and shared deliberation and imaginative identification, which echoes Polanyi’s notion of social freedom. Gay men who pursued love and sexual fulfilment as well as stringent family expectations did not enact freedom as always‐already individualised subjects who made autonomous choices; they came into being as particular socio‐moral persons by deliberating either collectively, through an actual conversation, or by engaging in imaginative identification with others. By placing both relationality and deliberation at the heart of freedom, this article contributes to anthropological discussions about this concept.