How does one address homophobia without threatening majority rule democracy and freedoms of speech and faith? How does one Africanize sexuality research, empirically and theoretically, in an environment that is t necessarily welcoming to African scholars? In Sexual Diversity in Africa, contributors critically engage with current debates about sexuality and gender identity, as well as with contentious issues relating to methodology, epistemology, ethics, and pedagogy. They present a tapestry of issues that testify to the complex nature of sexuality, sexual practices, and gender performance in Africa. Essays examine topics such as the well-established same-sex networks in Accra and Bamako, African traditions defined by European observers, and the bizarre mix of faith, pharmaceuticals, and pseudo-science used to cure homosexual men. Their evidence also demonstrates the indefensibility of over-simplified constructions of homosexuality versus heterosexuality, modern versus traditional, Africa versus the West, and progress from the African closet towards Western models of out politics, all of which have tainted research on same-sex practices and scientific studies of HIV/AIDS. Asserting that the study of sexuality is intellectually and politically sustainable in Africa, Sexual Diversity in Africa contributes to the theorization of sexualities by presenting a more sensitive and kwledgeable study of African experiences and perspectives. Contributors include Olajide Akanji, Christophe Broqua, Cheryl Cooky, Serena Owusua Dankwa, Shari L. Dworkin, Marc Epprecht, Melissa Hackman, Notisha Massaquoi, Crystal Munthree, Kathleen O'Mara, Stella Nyanzi, S.N.Nyeck, Vasu Reddy, Amanda Lock Swarr, and Lisa Wiebesiek.
S.N. Nyeck is assistant professor in political science at Clarkson University and a fellow at the Institute for Humane Studies. Marc Epprecht is professor in the Department of Global Development Studies at Queen's University and the author of Hungochani: The History of a Dissident Sexuality in Southern Africa.