in Ethnography (full text)
For recently arrived West African migrants in the metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro, the virtual and street encounters with travesti sex workers and queer beach goers provoked questions of relative power and status as experienced from a social margin of local Brazilian society. Based on ethnographic fieldwork since 2014, I address the question of how my Muslim interlocutors’ encounter with queers facilitate a particular and partial reading of Brazilian social relations, their legal mediation and their individual and social valuations. Moving between queer, postcolonial, queer of color and Muslim queer scholarship, I situate the local encounters of Muslim West Africans and queer subjects to differentiate and transcend the global framework of homonationalism and queer necropolitics. Situational positionalities result from the interplay of multiple geographical and social locations that, in their contradictions and interdependencies, are characteristic of contemporary urban configurations.
inequality; hierarchy; margin; queer; homonationalism; Muslim; Brazil; West Africa; Murids; Rio de Janeiro
Consider to apply to discuss and problematize conviviality and morality together at University of Tuebingen. Details below.
Ethnographic Approaches to the Normative Dimensions of Everyday Life
September 24 - 27, 2019 – Tübingen, Germany
In recent years, the social sciences have both undergone and propelled a “moral turn”, synchronized to an advancing moralization of public and political discourse and practice. Two main lines of argument infuse this turn: The location of morality and its relation to power. Morality should neither be conceived of as individual predispositions nor as discrete spheres of sociality. Instead, everyday life can be comprehend as imbued with moral valuation and reasoning: The social is ultimately the arena of the ethical. Considering the broad interest in researching morality and the normative dimensions of everyday life, this Summer School aims to provide a platform for early career researchers to contribute to these debates, facilitating international and interdisciplinary dialogue, and highlighting the dimension of morality as objects of study. By emphasizing the articulation of the moral to power and by refining conceptual differentiations (such as the inherent relation between morality and religion), the Summer School aims to sound out and deepen the understanding of the moral dimensions of social life by analyzing their “problematization”. In such problematizations morality comes into being as an object of reflection that can be contested and claimed. At their heart lies the nexus between morality and emotions. Morals are part of and informed by “emotional ideologies” resulting in perceptions which differ significantly and are prone for conflict.
We want to open a space for inquiring into the processes in which moral and ethical claims acquire normative power and how this normativity is contested; the ways actors practice and relate to these claims; how they navigate through moral conflicts; and finally how they envision, strive for and live a life that matters, conceived of as ‘good’ and ‘right’.
To this end, we welcome applications from ethnographers working on questions of morality from different disciplines and at different career stages (PhD students, postdocs and early-career scholars). Combining lectures, workshops, and master classes conducted by renowned scholars in the field, the Summer School offers profound theoretical input and different formats for exchange. These include the presentation of participants’ research, theoretical discussion, and time for reflecting methodological matters and research ethics.
More details see pdf file.
Science and Culture in current-day Brazil
I wake up to the news that the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro is burned down. One of the most important collections gone, one of the best libraries for Social and Cultural Anthropology gone, the archives of various former professors gone, the space where people researched, learned, discussed, tried to understand the former, present and future lives of people in Brazil and beyond gone, a historical monument marking key points of the Brazilian history gone, and most importantly one more place gone in which everybody could learn about the past and present of this country, become informed citizens, engage with the current devastating, worrying, sincerely frightening political, economic and social situation of Brazil - GONE. I came to Rio de Janeiro first hosted by the Universidade Estadual do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) and then the National Museum of the Universidade Federal of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). Even the world heard in the past news on the castigation that the UERJ went through as the first place that offered evening classes for students who had to work and quotas to combat structural discrimination. But even one of the most elite places, which has become more democratic in recent years with a more diversified student and professorial body, had fallen into neglect over the past years having to stay closed at various points because of the lack of funding even for the most basic services, let alone a much needed reform. Now the flames had it. What can be recovered won't be much. It is a devastating and frightening coincidence - if you believe it is - that all of this happens at a time when there does not seem much interest in public education, or rather, where the interest much rather seems to be to keep the masses ignorant again to even better exploit them. This is how it feels in Brazil these days. Being far, I cannot follow the call of my colleague Maria Elvira Díaz Benítez to go there in the morning to rescue what is left, nor can I stand by my adviser Luiz Fernando Dias Duarte who has found very clear words identifying the root causes of this desaster (https://www.theguardian.com/…/fire-engulfs-brazil-national-…), nor join the efforts of the amazing stuff of the Biblioteca Francisca Keller - PPGAS, nor take to the streets with my fellows of the PPGAS. As I did when the Rectoria of the Federal University burned down a couple of years ago, where the library of the Interdisciplinary Nucleus of Migration Studies was housed and of which I am a member (NIEM), I can only be as supportive as possible from far. I hope that Institutions of Education worldwide will do the same in rebuilding a unreplaceable loss instead of accepting a void soon to be taken by the destructive forces of our time.