“Sexual Worldings: ‘MSM’ Orientations” – a talk by Paul Boyce in pictures and short video

We are very happy to publish some pictures and a short video of the public talk, “Sexual Worldings: ‘MSM’ Orientations”, given in January 2018 at the University of Helsinki Gender Studies by Dr Paul Boyce (University of Sussex, UK). The video is an edited version of the one hour talk, highlighting the main points and ideas of Dr. Boyce’s important project.

Here the abstract of the talk:

This talk considers ways in which public health rubrics employed for the designation of evidentiary sexual subjects in HIV prevention research and programming may comprise an affective component of sexual worldings. One example is the use of the rubric ‘MSM’ in health promotion and as taken up popularly beyond such contexts. This can be seen to occur when people employ the phrase “ I am MSM” as a seeming term of identity. In the analysis I propose, ‘MSM’ is considered as a means via which social actors may defer a sense of stigmatized sexual selfhood or subjectivity into impersonal, object and abstracted health promotion categories. I perceive such actions as indicative of ways in which (queer) life-worlds may be typified by concealment even at the point at which they might be bound up in knowledge making activities. Taking life-contexts in and around HIV preventioncommunity-projects in India as an example, the chapter considers how terms such as ‘MSM’ (and other public health designations) might ‘think’ their subjects – as categories in varied orientations toward sexualities. This opens up wider questions about the ontologies of queer worldings and ethnographic evidence.


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