Blackwood Research Group

Falling Into The Lesbi World  

As a socio-cultural anthropologist, I am interested broadly in questions of gender, sexuality, identity and power in the context of a globalized world. Among my research projects, I have explored gender and kinship among rice farmers of the matrilineal and Islamic Minangkabau of West Sumatra, Indonesia. I have conducted long-term research on same-sex sexualities and female-bodied trans-identities, focusing on tomboi identity, female masculinities, and lesbian activist movements in Indonesia. That work is published in Falling into the Lesbi World: Desire and Difference in Indonesia (University of Hawaii Press 2010).

My current project chronicles the lives of a generation of lesbian-identified baby-boomer women who arrived in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1970s to live out the ideals advocated in the sexual revolution and the civil rights, gay rights, and feminist movements. These women were part of a diverse cohort of single, young women who aspired to create new models of family, gender, and sexuality based on notions of gender equality and open sexuality. Using in-depth life histories to document their lives, the project focuses on the day to day lives, social interactions, and relationships of these women in the 70s. It also asks how the activism and idealism of the 1970s shaped their lives today. Overall this project presents a richly textured view of lesbian identity and community formation during a transformative period in U.S. women’s history.

  Blackwood photo

Please see our blog at the BlaRG:

Current graduate students:

Madisson Whitman (PhD, Anth): Bodies of data: social implications of big student data
     (MS ‘15, Anth): Gender Variant Children and their Parents

Research conducted by former graduate students:

Elizabeth Wirtz (PhD Anth 2017): The Inhumanity of Humanitarian Aid: Gender and Violence in a Kenyan Refugee Camp

 Adlina Maulod (PhD, Anth 2016): Labor of Love: Queer Kinship, Parenthood and Alternative Reproduction among Female Same-Sex Partners in Singapore

Ryan Plis (PhD ‘15, Anth): Families in Transition: FTMs and their Kin Networks in the Contemporary U.S.; (MS ’10): Negotiating Lesbian and Queer Identities in Midwestern Young Adults

Yuen Ki (Franco) Lai (PhD ’14, Anth): Lesbi Migrant Sexuality: Indonesian Domestic Workers in Hong Kong

April Callis (PhD ’11, Anth): Beyond the Binary: Identity, Subjectivity, and the Sexual Borderlands

Katja Pettinen (PhD ’10, Anth): On the Social Life of Affect: A Narrative-based Ethnography of Relatedness and Coming Out in the United States

Jae Truesdell (MA ’09, American Studies): Photogen(d)ic(k): Articulating Transness Autobiographically and Photographically

Hubert Izienicki (MS ‘07, Sociology): Missing: The Case of Polish Men who Have Sex with Other Men

Heather Mitch (MS '07, Anth): Life in Transition: An Ethnographic Study

Jason Romero (MS '06): Global Queer Tensions: OCCUR's Gay English Class in Tokyo and the Politics of Visibility



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