Transnational Gender and Sexuality Symposium - Pt 3
This one-day symposium offers perspectives from two scholars critically exploring sexuality and gender identities in relation to shifting cultural and national boundaries. (Feb 14, 2008 at Dickinson College, Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues) About the Speakers: Denise Brennan is an associate professor of anthropology at Georgetown University. Her research interests include the global sex trade, human trafficking, migration, and women's labor in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2004, Brennan authored the book, What's Love Got to Do with It?: Transnational Desires and Sex Tourism in the Dominican Republic and was awarded an American Association of University Women fellowship for the same academic year. Brennan received an M.A. in International Relations from Johns Hopkins SAIS, and both a MPhil and Ph.D. from Yale University. France Winddance Twine is an anthropologist and a professor of sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her teaching areas and research interests include gender, girlhood, racism/anti-racism, feminist theory, critical race theory, field research methods, and multiracial/transracial families. She has also conducted extensive field research in Brazil, Britain and the United States, and authored numerous publications including her 1997 book, Racism in a Racial Democracy: The Maintenance of White Supremacy in Brazil. Twine is the deputy editor of the American Sociological Review, the journal of the American Sociological Association and serves on the editorial boards of Ethnic and Racial Studies. She holds a B.A. from Northwestern University and Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley. Issue in Context Recent shifts in international boundaries call established gender relations into question. This one-day symposium will critically examine gender, sexuality, and transnationalism with the help of three experts who will explore such questions as how the notion of transnationalism is being used to understand sexuality, 'racial' and gendered identity, sex work, and how the circulation of global images has affected gender in the Dominican Republic, England, and Japan. It is estimated that four million women all over the world are involved in the global sex trade and every year that figure is rising. While these increases are in part due to globalization, they can also be explained by the widespread exploitation of women and children. The global sex trade is gendered (most prostitutes are women), ethnic (women from non-Western backgrounds are the primary subjects in the industry), and also national (certain countries, such as Thailand, are more popular than others). Denise Brennan will discuss the facets of the sex industry and why the largest numbers of sexually exploited women in Latin America come from the Dominican Republic. Although people of color account for a significant proportion of European citizens, these populations are often ignored in popular and scholarly accounts. France Winddance Twine has studied the ways that children of multiracial heritage in second generation African-Caribbean communities must transfer their black identities to fit into English society. Transnational circuits of consumption enable white members of interracial families to function as the cultural clones of their black female relatives. Building upon Pierre Bourdieu's concept of capital, a new form of capital called 'ethnic capital' theorizes and accounts for the labor that white birth mothers of African descent children perform to secure their children's inclusion in second generation black diasporic communities in England. Ethnic capital is a form of capital that is highly valued by members of ethnic minority communities, and its possession facilitates social cohesion within black British communities and provides a form of cultural currency that reinforces ethnic belonging and social inclusion.
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