Nov. 2, 2009
ETHNIC IDENTITY, STATE, AND SEXUALITY
Read: Nagel, 2003.
Sex and nationalism: sexually imagined communities
Stoler, Ann, 1991.
Carnal knowledge and imperial power: gender, race and
morality in colonial Asia
Heng and Devan, J 1995
State fatherhood: the politics of nationalism, sexuality,
and race in Singapore
How are ethnicity/race/nationalism and gender/sexuality linked?
Manliness and womanliness are racialized, ethnicized and nationalized
And sexuality, of course, figures in such images of manliness and
Common stereotypes used to depict “us” and “them”?
Positive and negative: hardworking/lazy, clean/dirty; pure/dirty;
rational/emotional; smart/stupid; reliable/undependable; moral/immoral;
modest and virtuous/vulgar and promiscuous
These oppositions often involve gender and sexuality: potent and impotent
men; proper and unruly women; male strength and weakness; female
seductive power and vulnerability (lack of power); masculine sexual
desire and feminine sexual desirability
Examples of domains in which ethnicity, nationalism and race are linked to gender and
Nationalist images (how citizens/members of ethnic groups represent themselves
and are portrayed by others) are often sexed
The essay by Carol Smith we read and a book by Diane Nelson analyze
how sexuality in Guatemala is raced
Narratives of ladino men/women, Indian men/women differ
significantly—a difference she argues is integral to image of Guatemala as
First examples are taken from Joane Nagel, 2003.
Race, Ethnicity, and Sexuality: Intimate Intersections,
. New York: Oxford.
Diane M. Nelson, 1999. A Finger in the Wound: Body Politics in Quincentennial Guatemala.
16 Ethnic identity, state, and sexuality 2009 1/19/10