Ethno-erotic Economies: A Selected Bibliography

November 7th, 2017

Ethno-erotic Economies explores a fascinating case of tourism focused on sex and culture in coastal Kenya, where young men deploy stereotypes of African warriors to help them establish transactional sexual relationships with European women. In bars and on beaches, young men deliberately cultivate images as sexually potent African men to attract these women, sometimes for a night, in other cases for long-term relationships. 

George Paul Meiu uses his deep familiarity with the communities these men come from to explore the long-term effects of markets of ethnic culture and sexuality on a wide range of aspects of life in rural Kenya, including kinship, ritual, gender, intimate affection, and conceptions of aging. What happens to these communities when young men return with such surprising wealth? And how do they use it to improve their social standing locally? Answering these questions, Ethno-erotic Economies offers a complex look at how intimacy and ethnicity come together to shape the pathways of global and local trade in the postcolonial world.

George will discuss the book on Tuesday, 11/14, 6pm at the Co-op.

Below please find my suggested contribution for the “Bibliographies.” I chose four recent books that relate to my current book in substantial ways—mainly on sexual economies and/or the politics of ethnicity/autochthony.

Ethnicity, Inc., by John and Jean Comaroff (2009. Chicago: University of Chicago Press)

The Perils of Belonging, by Peter Geschiere (2009. Chicago: University of Chicago Press)

After Love: Queer Intimacy and Erotic Economies in Post-Soviet Cuba, by Noelle M. Stout (2014. Durham: Duke University Press)

Tourist Attractions: Performing Race and Masculinity in Brazil’s Sexual Economy, by Gregory Mitchell (2015. Chicago: University of Chicago Press)

About the author: George Paul Meiu is assistant professor of anthropology and African and African American studies at Harvard University. His research focuses on ethnicity, sexuality, gender, and political economy in Kenya. Meiu holds an MA and PhD from the University of Chicago and a BA from Concordia University in Montreal. 

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