George Paul Meiu - "Ethno-erotic Economies" - Raffaella Taylor-Seymour

George Paul Meiu discusses Ethno-erotic Economies. He will be joined in conversation by Raffaella Taylor-Seymour.

At the Co-op

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About the book: 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.

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. 

 About the interlocutor: Raffaella Taylor-Seymour is a PhD studsent in the departments of Anthropology and Comparative Human Development at the University of Chicago. Her reseals focuses on the politics of fertility, sexuality and ancestry in contemporary Zimbabwe. 

Event Location: 
The Seminary Co-op Bookstores
5757 S. Woodlawn Ave
Chicago 60637