AAA 2018 – Queering the Life Course

“Queering the Life Course” would have been a way better title than what I actually slapped on my poor paper for this year’s AAA. Sure, you may not be any more interested in “queering the life course” than in my actual title, which is, unfortunately, “Quotidian Present or Normative Future.”[ETA: jk! see note below!] But queering the life course approach is exactly what I’m hoping to do, so it still would have been a better title.

Another title I might have gone with is, “An analysis of 10th grade moments in urban Quito.” Or, because I set the bar pretty low, “Bailando, Happy Birthday, and a solo violin: three (queer?) times in a 10th grade age horizon.” At least those titles more accurately reflect that the majority of this presentation will be storytelling and not jargon.

Soy el futuro del pais

FB meme that made the rounds a few years ago …

Strained titles aside, I am very excited to get up and get evocative about interactions with three of my informants from Colegio Conquistador, a municipal high school in downtown Quito where I did my doctoral research. When I was in the field, I had one of those cool things happen where an everyday interaction that I observed gradually appeared a lot more meaningful. It turns out it makes a great story. And, adding cake to that icing, it’s a great story that I think makes a strong case for a particular methodological approach to analyzing age. Specifically, it’s great for showing how to add queer phenomenology to the life course approach.

I want to tell you more about it. And I will! At my talk! Which happens to be on Part 1 of the panel, “Anthropological Engagements in Queer Theories, Part I: Potentialities of Queerness” on Wednesday, November 14 from 12:00-1:45pm. Yifeng Cai put this whole thing together, and George Paul Meiu will be the discussant on my panel. (If you haven’t read Meiu’s article, ‘Beach-Boy Elders’ and ‘Young Big-Men’: Subverting the Temporalities of Ageing in Kenya’s Ethno-Erotic Economies, do yourself a favor and go read it now.) Frankly, I also heard Paula Martin give an amazing paper at last year’s AAA, and they’re on my panel, too, and I am super excited to see what they come up with this year.

I hope I see you there! Also, if you have a talk you want me to come to, please drop me your deets in the comments.

** [ETA: it turns out, I recognized how terrible that title was a while ago, and I changed it on the AAA site and then promptly forgot that I’d changed it. So you’ll actually find it in the program and on my CV as “Queering Youth Becoming: Socially Mobile Students in the Here and Now”]


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