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Anthropologist at workI am an socio-cultural anthropologist who conducts research on the matrilineal Minangkabau of West Sumatra, Indonesia and studies female same-sex relations outside the West. My publications include work on Native American female two-spirits and tombois in Indonesia as well as several articles on gender, kinship, and political economy in rural West Sumatra. I am conducting on-going research on historical and contemporary alternative genders and sexualities in Indonesia, focusing on tombois in West Sumatra. Part of this project examines the impact of state, Islamic and transnational lesbian and gay processes on the development of queer subjectivities, with reference to Indonesia and Southeast Asia more generally.

I edited The Many Faces of Homosexuality: Anthropology and Homosexual Behavior (1986) and with Saskia E. Wieringa co-edited Female Desires: Same-sex Relations and Transgender Practices Across Cultures(Columbia University Press 1999). My monograph on the Minangkabau is entitled Webs of Power: Women, Kin and Community in a Sumatran Village (Rowman and Littlefield 2000).

Falling into the Lesbi World: Desire and Difference in Indonesia (University of Hawaii Press, 2010), now available in Asia, Australia and New Zealand through Hong Kong University Press.
Awarded the 2011 Ruth Benedict Prize for a monograph by the Association of Queer Anthropologists in recognition of distinguished scholarship on a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender topic.


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