The Blackwood Research Group

About Us

The Blackwood Research Group consists of several members under the research tutelage of Professor Evelyn Blackwood:

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. In my early work I looked at female-bodied Native American two-spirits and also published an anthology on anthropology and homosexual behavior.   My first book explored gender and kinship among rice farmers of the matrilineal and Islamic Minangkabau of West Sumatra, Indonesia, based on research 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 at

Currently I am working on an oral history project focusing on lesbians in San Francisco in the 1970s.  This project is close to my heart because I was part of the community in the 70s in SF.  It seeks to understand cultural processes of social change by exploring how a cohort of lesbian-identified baby-boomer women created a women’s community and a lesbian identity in the 1970s and how this identity continues to inform and shape our lives as we age.

  • If you were were born between 1946 and 1955 and lived in the San Francisco Bay Area during the 1970s, I would love to talk to you about your own experiences–your life history–during that period and about your life now and the changes you have seen or been through.  Contact me at
  • Link to 1970s SF Lesbian History Project  page (more later)

Stephanie A. Allen:  (StephanieBRG) is a PhD candidate 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.

April Callis:  (AprilBRG) recently finished her PhD in Anthropology from Purdue University. Her dissertation, entitled “Beyond the Binary: Identity, Subjectivity, and the Sexual Borderlands,” looked at how non-binary sexual identities such as bisexual, queer and pansexual were conceptualized by individuals in Lexington, Kentucky. Currently, she is creating a research project focused on how fundamentalist Protestants in faith-based recovery programs re/construct their sexual identities through the lens of Jesus Christ.

Ryan Plis:  (RyanBRG) is a PhD student in Anthropology at Purdue University. Currently, his research focuses on transmen and other female-bodied masculinely-gendered people in the United States. Of particular interest to Ryan are gender non-conformers in the Southern U.S. as well as their kinship networks.

Ad Maulod (AdBRG)  is a PhD student in Anthropology at Purdue University. Her research draws inspiration from cultural theories of embodiment, agency and everyday life, transnational feminism, post colonial and performance studies as well as archival practice.  She is presently conducting ethnographic research on the political economy of female same-sex sexualities, paying close attention to female masculinity or androgyny. Dealing with the production and experience of contemporary masculinities along lines of class, gender, race and religion in Southeast Asia, this research will also explore notions of the ‘modern’ subjectivities and desires and transnational discourse on Queer, with particular focus on Singapore.

Comments on: "About Us" (2)

  1. Have you considered adding some videos to the article? I think it will really enhance everyones understanding.

  2. Thank you for your comment! Which article are you referring to? This page is really just to tell our readers a little about who we are.

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