Guest editors: David Berliner (ULB) and Cathy Herbrand (ULB)
This volume will explore how sexuality is learned, and how practices of sexuality configure themselves in different social and cultural environments. Most contemporary studies of sexuality are semiotic approaches -- that is, they discuss sexuality in relation to discourses. This volume intends to look at the pragmatics of sex, i.e. taking sexuality as a form of action inscribed within specific systems of interactions and interlocutions and mediated through objects.
In his famous “Bodily Techniques”, Marcel Mauss already invited us to pay attention to “techniques of reproduction”, “all these techniques of normal and abnormal sexual acts. Sexual touching, mélange of breaths, kisses, etc”, these technologies of pleasure where “sexual techniques and morality do collude intimately” (Mauss 1934). This volume aims at pulling together fine-grained ethnographies that approach pragmatics of sex through the lens of two recently rediscovered notions: learning and performance.
In particular, we invite contributors to consider questions like the following:
- How are sexual practices, norms, scripts and knowledge learned?
- What are the places, interactions, agents, institutions, objects, rituals, codes, critical moments, gestures, banal temporalities and media for sexual learning and performances?
- Through which complex processes of socialization do particular kinds of sexual behaviour become considered marginal or deviant?
- How are innovations in sexual scripts and practices acquired and practiced?
- What are the roles played by AIDS, internet, prostitution, dildos or SNM in the dissemination and transformation of certain sexual norms and practices?
- Generally speaking, how to think socio-anthropologically about issues of sexual learning and performance?
This volume intends to discuss the role of improvisation, imitation, invention and transmission (notions which are central to most contemporary social theories) in sexual learning and performance. But we also welcome all contributions which would highlight methodological and ethical questioning related to this kind of research: Are, for instance, the tropes of “participant observation” and “going native” relevant when it comes to such ethnography of intimacy?
Propositions of articles either in English or French (title + 250 words abstract) should be sent before the 1st October 2008 both to the editorial board of the journal (firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com) and to the guest editors of the journal issue, David Berliner (David.Berliner@ulb.ac.be) and Cathy Herbrand (Cathy.Herbrand@ulb.ac.be).
Civilisations is a peer-reviewed journal of anthropology. Published continuously since 1951, it features articles in French and English in the various fields of anthropology, without regional or time limitations. Revived in 2002 with a new editorial board and a new subtitle (Revue internationale d'anthropologie et de sciences humaines), Civilisations particularly encourage the submission of articles where anthropological approaches meet other social sciences, to better tackle processes of society making.
Information for authors available on http://www.ulb.ac.be/is/revciv.html#presentation
Dr Joel Noret
Laboratoire d'Anthropologie des Mondes Contemporains
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