The Sexual History of the Global South

Sexual Politics in Africa, Asia and Latin America

Edited by Saskia Wieringa and Horacio Sívori


Featuring twelve original case studies, The Sexual History of the Global South examines the sexual investments underlying the colonial project and the construction of modern nation-states.
The Sexual History of the Global South explores the gap between sexuality studies and post-colonial cultural critique. Featuring twelve case studies, based on original historical and ethnographic research from countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, the book examines the sexual investments underlying the colonial project and the construction of modern nation-states.

 Covering issues of heteronormativity, post-colonial amnesia regarding non-normative sexualities, women's sexual agency, the policing of the boundaries between the public and the private realm, sexual citizenship, the connections between LGBTQ activism and processes of state formation, and the emergence of sexuality studies in the global South, this collection is of great geographical, historical, and topical significance.

Author Bio

Saskia E. Wieringa is honorary professor at the University of Amsterdam, holding the chair on Gender and Women's Same-Sex Relations Crossculturally. She has a long experience of activism in both the women's and Third World solidarity movements. Since the late 1970s she has done research on women's movements and same-sex relations in many parts of the world, particularly in Indonesia.

Horacio Federico Sívori, PhD, is an Argentinean anthropologist, a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute for Social Medicine, State University of Rio de Janeiro, and the regional coordinator for the Latin American Center on Sexuality and Human Rights. He trained in Argentina, the USA, and Brazil and taught in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Peru. 

Table of Contents

1. Sexual politics in the global South: framing the discourse - Saskia Wieringa and Horacio Sívori

2. The rise of sex and sexuality studies in post-1978 China - Huang Yingying

3. The obscene modern and the pornographic family: adventures in Bangla pornography - Hardik Brata Biswas

4. Sexing the nation's body during the Cuban republican era - Abel Sierra Madero

5. Government and the control of venereal diseases in colonial Tanzania, 1920-60 - Musa Sadock

6. Violence and the emergence of gay and lesbian activism in Argentina, 1983-90 - Diego Sempol

7. Sexuality and nationalist ideologies in post-colonial Cameroon - Basile Ndjio

8. The 'lesbian' existence in Arab cultures: historical and sociological perspectives - Iman Al-Ghafari

9. 'Public women' and the 'obscene' body: an exploration of abolition debates in India - Nitya Vasudevan

10. Male homoeroticism, homosexual identity, and AIDS in Mexico City in the 1980s - Alberto Teutle López

11. Canons of desire: male homosexuality in twenty-first-century Keralam - Rajeev Kumaramkandath

12. Female criminality in Brazil: a study on gender and sexuality in a women's prison - Fabíola Cordeiro

13. Sexual pleasure and premarital sexual adventures of young women in Zimbabwe - Tsitsi B. Masvawure


'In examining transnational genealogies of sexualities, this book connects many lost dots. The cartographies it draws of both the Western gaze and of gendered and sexualized constructs in the Global South will undoubtedly enrich the field of sexual theorizing and research. Good reading!'
Sonia Corrêa, Brazilian Interdisciplinary Association for AIDS

'The Sexual History of the Global South is an exciting and challenging read. It puts together solid and original research with highly engaging analysis of sexuality in the colonial constructs of development. In the twelve chapters it covers huge ground, making it important reading for both students and scholars. It promises to be a landmark in the booming field of sexualities.'
Wendy Harcourt, Erasmus University

'This is an exciting collection that delivers what it promises: a truly transnational investigation of sexuality from the perspective of scholars from the Global South. Much more than a history of sexualities, or an exploration of sexual diversity cross-culturally, it offers compelling insights into the close interaction between political and social histories and ideologies of sexuality. It gives the reader a broad view of the colonial, the post-colonial, and the often reactionary ways that new and modernizing states shored up heterosexuality while condemning other types of gendered and sexual expressions. This will undoubtedly be a foundational text in sexual histories of the global South.'
Evelyn Blackwood, author of Falling into the Lesbi World: Desire and Difference in Indonesia

'The Sexual History of the Global South is urgent reading for anyone interested in not only the history of sexual practices but also in critical theory and sexual politics. Its brilliant contributions go beyond mere "case studies" of diverse desires, pleasures, sexual subjects, and their regulation in colonial and post-colonial settings. By adapting Foucault and showing his Eurocentric limits, they open up whole new ways of thinking about sexual diversity as it interweaves with race, ethnicity, gender, class and the meanings of power in modernity.'
Rosalind Petchesky, City University of New York


Publication Date: 11 April 2013
288 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781780324029
Hardback: 9781780324036
eBook ePub: 9781780324050
eBook PDF: 9781780324043
eBook Kindle: 9781780324067

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