Afternoon Inqueery

AI: Favorite Non-Fiction Texts

I’m in the process of building my bibliographies for my comprehensive exams. In my program, we divide our comps up into three basic sections: theory, method, and region/topic. Each member of our committee is responsible for one area. So, I have four people on my committee, two for theory, one for methods, and one for topic.

For part of my theory, I am building a bibliography on sex, gender, and sexuality in anthropology. I should have seminal theoretical works (feminism, queer theory, and trans theory), ethnographic examples of the application of these theories broadly (e.g., how have these theories informed how anthropologists have written about gender), and ethnographic examples of the application of these theories to my topic (queer health).

Some of my favorite non-fiction texts are on this bibliography. The first volume of Michel Foucault’s The History of Sexuality, Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble and Undoing Gender, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s Epistemology of the Closet, and Anne Fausto-Sterling’s Sexing the Body, to name a few.

What are some of your favorite non-fiction texts/authors that address issues of sex, gender, and/or sexuality?

The Afternoon Inqueery (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Queereka community. Look for it to appear on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 3pm ET.

Featured image is of Michel Foucault with his cat.

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Will is the admin of Queereka, part of the Skepchick network. They are a cultural/medical anthropologist who works at the intersections of sex/gender, sexuality, health, and education. Their other interests include politics, science studies, popular culture, and public perceptions and understandings of anthropology. Follow them on Twitter at @anthrowill and Facebook at


  1. June 5, 2012 at 8:24 pm —

    Oo! Oo! “Evolution’s Rainbow” by Joan Roughgarden, a quick and dirty world through the wonder and complexity of nature’s take on gender, sexuality, and diversity. In fact, I may start a re-read tonight.

    • June 5, 2012 at 8:25 pm —

      I have no idea what I meant by “quick and dirty”. I might have something else on my mind….

    • June 5, 2012 at 9:22 pm —

      This book is totes on my to-read-at-some-point list. =)

  2. June 5, 2012 at 8:58 pm —

    The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene

  3. June 5, 2012 at 11:03 pm —

    I took a sociology class in college that covered sex and and gender roles. A unit of the course was on deconstructing masculinity into “five pillars of masculinity”, an idea that can be traced to an old collection of essays called “The Forty-Nine Percent Majority: The Male Sex Role”, of which I later on tracked down a copy.

    As of today bits of the book are super dated, but one essay in particular discusses how cut-throat competitive academia can be. It uses the “new” Physics Review Letters journal as an example of how scientists are in constant competition to prove that they came up with an idea weeks or moths earlier. Replace Phys Rev Let with and a timescale of hours or days and it could have been written yesterday.

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