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The Gay Archipelago:
Sexuality and Nation in Indonesia
Tom Boellstorff

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"The Gay Archipelago is a landmark book, both for studies of Indonesia and for studies of comparative sexualities. Tom Boellstorff manages to integrate grounded narratives of personal experience in larger theoretical notions of identity and nation, and in so doing to develop perhaps the most sophisticated case study yet written of the ways in which sexual subjectivities reflect, and help shape, national identity."--Dennis Altman, author of Global Sex and Gore Vidal's America

"The Gay Archipelago is a landmark work. Boellstorff applies an acute ethnographic intelligence to the lives of Indonesians with same-gender desires, raising unsettling questions about the ways in which anthropology remains invested in "difference." Boellstorff's compelling analysis greatly enriches our sense of how images circulate, and communities are re-imagined, at the point where the global meets the postcolonial."--Jean Comaroff, University of Chicago

"The Gay Archipelago is an important work that inaugurates a new stage in critical comparative queer studies and Southeast Asian anthropology. Far from offering a typical ethnography of gay and lesbian people in a nonwestern 'elsewhere,' Tom Boellstorff provides a richly woven and vigorously argued theoretical and empirical treatise on emerging subjectivities in the nonwest, including Indonesia. His book is admirably ambitious in scale and scope by trying to understand not only Indonesian lesbi and gay peoples but also other sexual/gender systems and formations. While most anthropologists focus either on 'men' or 'women,' he valiantly and successfully pulls together the multiple strands of analysis and data on queer 'men' and 'women' as part of the national imaginary. Through trenchant yet nuanced arguments, he argues for a framework that does not fetishize difference or depend on Western self-awareness and modes of agency."--Martin F. Manalansan IV, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, author of Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men in the Diaspora

"This exciting book represents an original and path-breaking contribution to the contemporary cross-cultural literature on sexuality and gender: first, in the subtle and searching way it conceives the relation between Western and Indonesian sexualities and genders; and, second, in its outstanding approach to perennial problems in theorizing gender and sexuality and their contested relation."--Margaret Jolly, Australian National University, coeditor of Sites of Desire, Economies of Pleasure: Sexualities in Asia and the Pacific

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File created: 4/21/2017

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