The Blackwood Research Group

About Us

The Blackwood Research Group consists of Dr. Blackwood and several of her former and current PhD students.

Professor Evelyn Blackwood:  I am a socio-cultural anthropologist interested broadly in questions of gender, sexuality, identity and power in the context of a globalized world. My early work explored the lives of female-bodied Native American two-spirits and included an anthology on anthropology and homosexual behavior.  For my first book I explored gender and kinship among rice farmers of the matrilineal and Islamic Minangkabau of West Sumatra, Indonesia. This research was conducted in 1989-90 and 1996.

I returned to West Sumatra in 2001 and 2004 to conduct research on same-sex sexualities and female-bodied trans-identities, focusing on tomboi and femme identities, 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). Now also available in Asia, Australia and New Zealand through Hong Kong University Press (2011).

See my publications on my webpage.

My current ethnohistorical project chronicles the lives of generations of lesbian-identified women in the San Francisco Bay Area. The book takes readers from the early days of invisible lesbian social networks and crowded house parties in the 1940s and 50s, through the radical 60s, to the heady days of the 70s. Although many today think lesbian and gay liberation started in 1969, the earlier decades laid the groundwork for the development of vibrant lesbian communities in the 70s.

Bay Area lesbians in the 70s were beneficiaries of the dynamic yet underground homophile and homosexual communities in San Francisco and other urban US cities since at least the 1940s. Set in a larger history of lesbians in the U.S., this book explores emergent San Francisco/Bay Area lesbian communities to reveal an electrifying and turbulent time of radical change and raw hope seen through the eyes of the women who lived it.

Stephanie A. Allen:  (StephanieBRG) received her PhD in American Studies at Purdue University. Her main research interests include Contemporary American Fiction, Black feminism, and sexuality studies, with a focus on Black lesbian fiction and film. She is most interested in the paucity of scholarly, critical, and popular attention given to Black lesbian cultural productions and the intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality that contribute to the invisibility and marginalization of Black lesbians in popular and mass culture, as well as in literary discourses.

Franco Lai received her PhD in Anthropology at Purdue University, exploring the lives of Indonesian women migrant workers in Hong Kong. She is an assistant professor at National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan, in General Education and Anthropology. For more information click here.

Ryan Plis:  (RyanBRG) received his PhD in Anthropology at Purdue University and is currently working at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His research focuses on transmen and other female-bodied masculinely-gendered people in the United States. His dissertation explores gender non-conformers in the Southern U.S. and their kinship networks.

Ad Maulod (AdBRG) received his PhD student in Anthropology at Purdue University. His research draws inspiration from cultural theories of embodiment, agency and everyday life, transnational feminism, post colonial and performance studies as well as archival practice.  Dealing with the production and experience of contemporary masculinities along lines of class, gender, race and religion in Southeast Asia, his research explores notions of ‘modern’ subjectivities and desires and transnational discourse on Queer, with particular focus on Singapore.

Madisson Whitman is a PhD student in cultural anthropology at Purdue University, and an STS researcher who studies how technologies, institutions, and subjectivities are made together, with a current focus on the social production of data at universities in the U.S. Interests: big data and algorithms; identity and subjectivity; power and agency; classification and marginalization; institutions; expertise; infrastructure; surveillance; failure

 

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