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Maxwell African Scholars Union presents: Kwame Edwin Otu

209 Eggers Hall

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Maxwell African Scholars Union presents: Kwame Edwin Otu On Sexual Culture: Frantz Fanon, Sexual Citizenship, and the Male Body in “Post-Colonial” Ghana It is not uncommon to hear stories about the victimhood of sexual minorities in sub-Saharan Africa. While these discourses offer some insights into the state of affairs of sexual minorities, they efface the larger historical, transnational and neoliberal, if not neocolonial conundrums of “independent” nations on the sub-continent. Looking at Frantz Fanon’s compelling interrogation of both “national culture” and “national consciousness”, I engage with how the recent visibility of same-sex politics in Africa is reshaping the male body and definitions of masculinity in Ghana. Drawing on Fanon’s critique of post-independence nationalism, I question how the rhetoric of national culture is deployed to legitimate “hetero-sexual citizenship”. Furthermore, I interrogate how Ghana’s colonial past and her location in the transnational and the global, complicate the production of anti-homosexual discourses and what it means to be “Ghanaian” and also, the ‘naturalization’ of hetero-sexual citizenship. Kwame Edwin Otu did his undergraduate degree in Sociology at the University of Ghana. He received his M.A. in Sociology from Ohio University. Currently, Kwame is pursuing a doctoral degree in the Department of Anthropology where he is doing work on the male body, sexual citizenship, and the role of the Church and the State in Ghana. He has conducted preliminary fieldwork among sasso (self-identified effeminate men) men in Ghana to explore how they code-switch their bodies in the wake of growing anti-homosexual rhetoric. Light Refreshments Will Be Served.

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