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Research Interests for Ara Wilson

Research Interests: gender/sexuality in global modernity; urban Southeast Asia and transnational zones; cultural political economy and heterodox economics

My work contributes to the feminist study of globalization and to what I call queer political economy (QPE). Through research informed by an ethnographic lens, my aim is to generate descriptions of social life within conditions shaped by transnational flows, especially operations of global capitalism. This requires combining attention to economics (which I undertake with qualitative, heterodox approaches) with feminist, queer, and post-colonial theories about social arrangements and about our ways of thinking about them. I have conducted long-term fieldwork in Bangkok, Thailand exploring changes to sexuality, gender and ethnicity in non-Western modernity. I am working on two projects. One is a book project, Sexual Latitudes, that ponders how the stage for sexuality is now global, for example through new forms of international sexual politics in the UN orbit or the alter-globalization movements. This interest also extends to reflecting on the concept of "intimacy" as a rubric in feminist and queer analysis and pondering the unfulfilled intersection of feminist/queer and economic analysis. A second project examines medical tourism to Thailand and Singapore, which continues my interests in the interplay of globalization and intimate, embodied life.

Keywords:
sexuality, sex , lesbian, gay, queer , glbt , prostitution , sex work, trafficking, romance tourism, gigolo, traffic in women, medical tourism, medical travel , Thailand, Bangkok, UN, NGO, human rights, Southeast Asia, globalization, markets, direct selling organizations, multilevel marketing, political economy, sexual rights, World Social Forum, intimacy, intimate, anti-globalization, heterodox economics, geography
Current projects:
Sexual Latitudes: The Erotic Politics of Globalization (book)

Market Shrines in Bangkok

Medical Tourism in Bangkok and Singapore

Areas of Interest:

Globalization & Transnational Conditions for Social Life
UN, NGOs, Human Rights, Sexual Rights, Women's Rights
Cultural Political Economy, Heterodox Economics, Marxist theory
Gender & Sexuality
Feminist, Queer, Postcolonial Theory

Representative Publications   (search)
  1. The Intimate Economies of Bangkok: Tomboys, Tycoons, and Avon Ladies in The Global City (2004), University of California [html]
  2. A. Wilson, Anthropology and the Political Philsophy of Hardt and Negri: Introduction, Special Theme Issue on Hardt & Negri, edited by Ara Wilson, Focaal (2012)
  3. Medical Tourism in Bangkok, in Asian Biotech, edited by Aihwa Ong and Nancy Chen (2010), Duke UP
  4. NGOs as Erotic Sites, in Development, Sexual Rights and Global Governance, edited by Amy Lind (January, 2010), Routledge
  5. Feminism in the Space of the World Social Forum, special issue on the World Social Forum, Journal of International Women’s Studies, vol. 8 no. 3 (April, 2007) [htm]

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