Flaming Souls: Homosexuality, Homophobia, and Social Change in Barbados

By David A.B. Murray

© 2012

While there has been increased attention to issues of sexuality in the Caribbean over the past decade, there continue to be very few in-depth ethnographic studies of sexual minorities in this region. A timely addition to the literature, Flaming Souls explores public discourses focusing on homosexuality and the everyday lives of gay men and ‘queens’in contemporary Barbados.

David A.B. Murray's dynamic study features interviews with government and health agency officials, HIV/AIDS activists, and residents of the country's capital, Bridgetown. Using these and records from local libraries and archives, Murray unravels the complex historical, social, political, and economic forces through which same-sex desire, identity, and prejudice are produced and valued in this Caribbean nation-state. Illustrating the influence of both Euro-American and regional gender and sexual politics on sexual diversity in Barbados, Flaming Souls makes an important contribution to queer studies and the anthropology of sexualities.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 160 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.2in x 0.6in x 9.3in
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Quick Overview

Illustrating the influence of both Euro-American and regional gender and sexual politics on sexual diversity in Barbados, Flaming Souls makes an important contribution to queer studies and the anthropology of sexualities.

Flaming Souls: Homosexuality, Homophobia, and Social Change in Barbados

By David A.B. Murray

© 2012

While there has been increased attention to issues of sexuality in the Caribbean over the past decade, there continue to be very few in-depth ethnographic studies of sexual minorities in this region. A timely addition to the literature, Flaming Souls explores public discourses focusing on homosexuality and the everyday lives of gay men and ‘queens’in contemporary Barbados.

David A.B. Murray's dynamic study features interviews with government and health agency officials, HIV/AIDS activists, and residents of the country's capital, Bridgetown. Using these and records from local libraries and archives, Murray unravels the complex historical, social, political, and economic forces through which same-sex desire, identity, and prejudice are produced and valued in this Caribbean nation-state. Illustrating the influence of both Euro-American and regional gender and sexual politics on sexual diversity in Barbados, Flaming Souls makes an important contribution to queer studies and the anthropology of sexualities.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 160 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.2in x 0.6in x 9.3in
  • Reviews

    ‘Flaming Souls succeeds in bringing largely theoretical critiques of (gay) rights discourse to life… This book is useful not only as a primer for those new to this transdisciplinary line of critique, but also as a needed reminder of the material stakes therein.’


    Kenneth Lythgoe
    QED: A Journal of GLBTQ Worldmaking, vol 1:01:2014

    ‘I enjoyed every last bit of Flaming Souls – it is smart, thought provoking, theoretically sophisticated, and it excellently frames and critiques the Western biases in LGBTQ discussions. As one of the leading ethnographers of men who love men, David A.B. Murray has captured the essence of what it is to be gay or a queen in Barbados – an especially important endeavour given how little there is out there that uses an anthropological perspective to address the intersection of race, class, gender, sexuality, nationality, religion, and age within gay communities of colour. Murray succeeds in avoiding the jargon found in so much cultural anthropology literature, thereby allowing this book to be enjoyed by a general readership and by undergraduate students.’
    A. Lynn Bolles, Department of Women's Studies, University of Maryland
  • Author Information

    David A.B. Murray is an associate professor of Anthropology and member of the Sexuality Studies Program at York University.

  • Table of contents

    Table of Contents

    Acknowledgments
    Introduction

    Chapter 1: The Spectral Homosexual in Barbadian Feedback Media
    Chapter 2: Gender, Sexuality and HIV/AIDS Discourses in Barbados
    Chapter 3: Whose Right? Human and Sexual Rights Discourses in Barbados
    Chapter 4: Gay Tourism and the 'Civilized' Homosexual
    Chapter 5: Bajan Queens Nebulous Scenes
    Chapter 6: Digisex: Cell Phones, Barbadian Queens and Circuits of Desire in the Caribbean
    Chapter 7: Life Stories Conclusion: Flaming Souls and Imperial Debris

    Notes
    References
    Index