Don Kulick

Don Kulick (photo by Orlando Boström)

Don Kulick (photo by Orlando Boström)

I have done long-term anthropological fieldwork in Papua New Guinea, Brazil, and Scandinavia, and have published books and articles on topics ranging from language death to fat pornography.

My focus on vulnerability as a resource arose out of my fieldwork with adults with significant disabilities in Denmark and Sweden. The women and men I worked with during that research taught me that the commonplace view of vulnerability as a lack is profoundly misguided.

My most recent work has been about human-animal communication. The inability of animals to speak means that they force humans who wish to attempt to discover their subjective states (in order, for example, to improve their welfare), to find ways of communicating with them, and understanding them.  An article on this topic will appear in the forthcoming issue of Annual Review of Anthropology, in October 2017. During autumn term 2017, I will be teaching a course titled “Thinking Vulnerable Animals”.

I am currently working with my material from Gapun, Papua New Guinea, where I have been doing fieldwork for the past thirty years. I recently completed a new monograph titled The End: Adventures With a Dying Language, and I have written an article (currently under review) about sexual violence in the village from the perspective of the philosophy of nonsense. I am also continuing work on the grammar and dictionary of Gapun’s dying vernacular language, Tayap. Read the first chapter of the grammar here.

Contact information: don.kulick@antro.uu.se

Selected publications:

Monographs

2015monographLoneliness and its Opposite: Sex, Disability and the Ethics of Engagement, Don Kulick & Jens Rydström. Durham and London: Duke University Press.
2003monographLanguage and Sexuality, Deborah Cameron & Don Kulick. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press (Japanese translation: 言語および性別, Tokyo: Sangen Shah, 2009).
1998monographTravesti: Sex, Gender and Culture among Brazilian Transgendered Prostitutes. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (Portuguese translation: Travesti: prostituição, sexo, gênero e cultura no Brasil, Editora Fiocruz, 2008).
1992monographLanguage Shift and Cultural Reproduction: Socialization, Self, and Syncretism in a Papua New Guinean Village. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press.

Anthologies

2006The Language and Sexuality Reader, edited by Deborah Cameron & Don Kulick. London and New York: Routledge.
2005Queersverige [Queer Sweden], edited by Don Kulick. Stockholm: Natur och Kultur.
2005Fat: The Anthropology of an Obsession, edited by Don Kulick & Anne Meneley. New York: Tarcher/Penguin (Korean translation as 살찐, Seoul, Sodong Publishers, 2011).
1998Transgender in Latin America: Persons, Practices, and Meanings, edited by Don Kulick. Special issue of Sexualities 1 (3).
1996Queer Theory: Vad Är Det och Vad är Det Bra För? [Queer Theory: What is it and What it is Good For?] Special Issue of Lambda Nordica 2(3-4). Republished as independent volume by Scandinavian University Press in 1998.
1995Taboo: Sex, Identity, and Erotic Subjectivity in Anthropological Fieldwork, edited by Don Kulick & Margaret Willson. London and New York: Routledge. (Turkish translation as Tabu: Antropolojik Alan Çalışmasında Seks, Kimlik ve Erotik Öznellik, 2001)
1991Att Begå Kärlek: Om Kroppen, Kärleken och Sexualiteten i Olika Kulturer. [Committing Love: The Body, Love, and Sex in a Cross-Cultural Perspective], edited by Don Kulick. Special Issue of Ottar 11(2).
1987Från Kön till Genus: Kvinnligt och Manligt i ett Kulturellt Perspektiv [From Sex to Gender: Female and Male in a Cultural Perspective], edited by Don Kulick. Borås: Carlssons Bokförlag.

Articles

2017Is it monologic? Is it dialogic? Does it matter? In The Monological Imagination, edited by Matt Tomlinson & Julian Millie. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 81-88.
2017Humorless lesbians. Anthologized in Gender: Laughter. Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks, edited by Bettina Papenburg, Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference USA, 229-244.
2017Jouir comme des bêtes. Terrain, 67: 110-127, special issue on “Orgasm”.
2016Humorless lesbians. Reprinted in English and translated into Italian as “La rappresenatzione delle lesbiche prive di senso dell’umorismo” in De Genere: revista di studi letterare, postcoloniali e di genere, 2.
2015When Privacy and Secrecy Collapse into One Another, Bad Things Can Happen. Current Anthropology Volume 56, Supplement 12, S241-50.
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2014Humorless lesbians. In Gender and Humor: interdisciplinary and international perspectives, edited by Delia Chiaro and Raffaella Baccolini. London: Routledge, 85-99.
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2014Language and desire. In The Handbook of Language, Gender and Sexuality, Second Edition, edited by Susan Ehrlich, Miriam Myerhoff and Janet Holmes, Oxford: John Wiley and Sons, 68-84.
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2014Danes call people with Down syndrome ‘mongol’: politically incorrect language and ethical engagement. Byen og Blikkets Lyst: festskrift til Henning Bech, Seksualiteter: Skriftrække fra Centrum for Seksualitetsforskning, 85-105.
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2014Muscle and blood: erotic fantasy in theory and practice. In Selves, Symbols and Sexualities: an Interactionist Anthology, edited by Thomas Weinberg and Staci Newmahr. London and New York: Sage, 17-31.
2012En unken och beklaglig människosyn: män, sex och funktionshinder [A fusty outlook on mankind: men, sex and disabilities]. In Andra män: maskulinitet, normskapande och jämställdhet, edited by Lucas Gottzén and Rickard Jonsson. Gleerups: Malmö, 25-44.
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2009Can there be an anthropology of homophobia? In Homophobias: lust and loathing across time and space, edited by David Murray. Durham: Duke University Press, 19-33.
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2009Sex, soccer and scandal in Brazil. Anthropology Now 1 (3): 32-42.
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2009Gender Politics. Men and Masculinities 11 (2): 186-92. Special issue on “Men Doing the Anthropology of Women”, edited by David Berliner and Douglas Falen.
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2009Fat Pets. In Fat Studies in the UK, edited by Corinna Tomrley and Ann Kaloski Naylor. York: Raw Nerve Books, 35-50.
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2008Cool heads and hot hearts. Sexualities 11 (1-2): 80-86.
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2008Don Kulick om djurporr [Don Kulick on animal porn]. In F-ordet: mot en ny feminism, edited by Petra Östergren. Stockholm: Alfabeta, 75-86.
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2007Anthropologists are talking: about feminism and anthropology. Transcribed and edited interview with Louise Lamphere, Rayna Rapp and Gayle Rubin. Ethnos 72 (3): 408-26.
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2006Theory in furs: masochist anthropology. Current Anthropology 47 (6): 933-52.
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2006Ensamhetens gränser: onani och socialitet [The limits of solitude: masturbation and sociality]. In Den Moderna Ensamheten [Loneliness and Modernity], edited by Maria Karlsson and Sharon Rider. Stockholm: Symposion, 69-92.
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2005Four hundred thousand Swedish perverts. GLQ 11 (2): 205-35.
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2005Identity crisis? (with D. Cameron). Language and Communication 25: 107-25.
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2004Language socialization (with Bambi Schieffelin). In A Companion to Linguistic
Anthropology
, edited by Alessandro Duranti, Oxford: Blackwell, 349-68.
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2003Sex in the new Europe: the criminalization of clients and Swedish fear of
penetration. Anthropological Theory 3 (2):199-218.
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2003Scandalous acts: the politics of shame among Brazilian travesti prostitutes. (with C. Klein). In Recognition Struggles and Social Movements: Contested Identities, Agency and Power, edited by Barbara Hobson. Cambridge: CUP, 215-238.
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2000Gay & lesbian language. Annual Review of Anthropology 29: 243-85.
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1999Transgender and language: a review of the literature and suggestions for the future. GLQ 5(4):605-622.
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1998Anger, gender, language shift, and the politics of revelation in a Papua New Guinean village. In Language Ideologies: Theory and Practice, edited by Bambi Schieffelin, Kathryn Woolard and Paul Kroskrity, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 87-102.
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1998Fe/male trouble: the unsettling place of lesbians in the self images of Brazilian transgendered prostitutes. Sexualities 1(3): 299-312.
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1997The gender of Brazilian transgendered prostitutes. American Anthropologist 99(3): 574-585.
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1997A man in the house: the boyfriends of Brazilian travesti prostitutes. Social Text 52/53, 15 (3-4):135-162.
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1996Causing a commotion: public scandal as resistance among Brazilian transgendered prostitutes. Anthropology Today 12(6): 3-7.
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1994Rambo's wife saves the day: subjegating the gaze and subverting the narrative in a New Guinean swamp. (with Margaret Willson). Visual Anthropology Review 10 (2): 1-13.
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1993Conceptions and uses of literacy in a Papua New Guinean village (with Christopher Stroud). In Cross-Cultural Approaches to Literacy, edited by Brian Street, Cambridge: CUP, 30-61.
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1993Heroes from Hell: representations of ‘rascals’ in a Papua New Guinean village. Anthropology Today 9 (3): 9-14.
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1993Speaking as a woman: structure and gender in domestic arguments in a Papua New Guinean village. Cultural Anthropology 8 (3): 99-129.
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1990Christianity, cargo and ideas of self: patterns of literacy in a Papua New Guinean village (with Christopher Stroud). Man 25:286-303.
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Recent book reviews

2015Review of Megan B. McCullough & Jessica A. Hardin, eds. “Reconstructing Obesity: the meaning of measures and the measure of meanings”, TAJA (The Australian Journal of Anthropology).
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2014Review of Lisa Downing & Robert Gillett, eds., “Queer in Europe”. Contemporary Sociology 43 (1): 79-80.
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