Association for Queer Anthropology
Invited - Roundtable
Abstract: This roundtable gathers scholars across generations to directly engage feminist, queer and trans calls to think "toward" a critical queer and trans economic anthropology. For decades, feminist, queer and trans scholars doing work on capitalisms have been in conversation about the changing climate of economic anthropology. In March 2015, the Gens Collective published their Gens Manifesto for a Feminist Study of Capitalism in Cultural Anthropology, stating, “it is through a deep engagement with feminist approaches that we recognize the need to challenge the boundedness of the domain of “the economic” (Bear, Ho, Tsing and Yanagisako 2015:1). In it, the Gens Collective centered feminist approaches to capitalism, inviting queer, trans, indigenous, non-white-centered and multi-species approaches – asking, for whom does a “back to basics” approaches work? Who writes the story of “the economy”? Who and what is left out of the calculus? As anthropologists engaged capitalism in the ten years since economic anthropology’s 2008 inflection point – the 2008 global financial crisis - Queer Anthropology continued to grow, embracing and challenging Feminist Anthropology and influencing anthropologists working on nationalism, politics, medical anthropology, climate change and in particular, sovereignty and biopolitics. Trans Anthropology, finally recognized as an established field, offered approaches to race, the body, power, crisis, debt and security (among others) that allowed for the both/and of identity and multiplicity central to debates in SOLGA/AQA. Inspired by Gayle Rubin's "Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality" (1984) and AAA/CASCA 2019 Annual Meeting theme of "Changing Climates", this roundtable and discussion addresses how queer and trans anthropologies might respond to the feminist call in the GENS Manifesto and examine some of the fantastic and radical interdisciplinary queer and trans approaches to studies of capitalism already in practice. Each participant will discuss what a critical queer and trans economic anthropology would entail and if economic anthropology serves as a viable container for queer and trans analyses of economy and (re)productions of capital.
Some additional themes this roundtable considers are the following:
• Do the stakes described by Rubin in “Thinking Sex” (1984) offer insight into anthropologies of capitalism, and economy more broadly?
• How can a critical queer and trans economic anthropology collaborate to theorize desire and intimacy as proposed by diverse queer and trans anthropologies (Boellstorff 2007; Rofel 2007; Weiss 2016, Wilson 2004)?
• How might we center abolition, or (dis)ability or "debility" in queer and trans theory (Puar 2017) with the GENS call and Karen Ho's "critical economic anthropology" (Bear, Ho, Tsing and Yanagisako 2015; Ho 2015)?
• How can feminist, queer and trans anthropological approaches to economic anthropology in the US and Canada contextualize anti-blackness, abolition, necropolitics, indigenous disappearing, and erasure amid ongoing global and political economic crises?
• What kinds of temporal orders and theories of relations do queer and trans economic anthropologists offer to the study of capitalism (Driskill, Finley, Gilley, Morgensen 2011; Moregensen 2011)?