Imagine Otherwise: Erin Durban on the Sexual Politics of Empire

Jan 25, 2023Podcast

A new episode of Imagine Otherwise just dropped!

In episode 147, I interview anthropologist Erin Durban about the past and present relationship between the United States and Haiti as it shapes the lives of queer and trans Haitians.

Erin’s first book The Sexual Politics of Empire: Postcolonial Homophobia in Haiti was just published by the University of Illinois Press. In that book, they trace the interactions among religious, political, and human rights movements in Haiti and how they shape the daily lives of same-sex desiring and gender-creative Haitians.

In our conversation, Erin and I talk about the history of US occupation and imperialism in Haiti and how it shapes the work international LGBTQ organizations began doing there in the wake of the devastating 2010 earthquake.

Erin also shares how their approach to ethnographic research has shifted over their career, particularly in terms of challenging colonial unknowing even when it appears in one’s own family narratives and community.

We close out the episode with Erin’s vision for a queer disabled university, one that centers the needs and liveability of not only those working within the academy but also those whom it affects, including folks we write about.

You can catch the episode on your favorite podcast player or the Ideas on Fire website here: Erin Durban on the Sexual Politics of Empire.

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