An-Old-ScholarThis Sunday sees the first of my ‘Scholar Sunday’ posts.  As I posted at the start of the academic year, I’ll be sharing one of these posts each month between now and July.  The post will feature an example of my own published work.  What I want to do is not only highlight a particular output, but explain why I wrote it, what I was trying to do and even what I think is now wrong with it, and what I would do differently.  I hope it will further introduce you to my work, and also serve as an open discussion of scholarship which I think we in the academy desperately need.  At a time of increased pressure in scholarship globally to produce ‘excellent’ scholarship of consistent internationals standard, we’re in danger of papering over the cracks of our own limitations and weaknesses, even though it is this reflection that often leads to more robust and significant findings and insights.

For my first output, I’d like to talk about a publication from earlier this year.  ‘Bareback sex, queer legal theory, and evolving socio-legal contexts’ was published in volume 18 no 1-2, as part of a special issue edited by the wonderful Oliver Davis entitled ‘Bareback sex and queer theory across three national contexts (France, UK, USA).  This was a piece that I was asked to write and that’s always a different prospect from sending stuff fin unsolicited.  You know it’s going to get published barring accidents (which do sometimes happen).  It also means that you do – to some extent – have to match up against the expectations of what someone else thought you’d write.  This article drew upon a number roof ideas I had floating around, and I tried told raw them together in this piece.  There’s much I like about this article – it is one of the most honest and heartfelt pieces I’ve written – but such positive attributes may be regarded as deficiencies by many academics.  I can still see the joins and I wish it had more of a French component – I don’t think I balanced the three jurisdictions at all well.  I should also be honest that I was appallingly late delivering this.  it came after my promotion and moving roles.  I hadn’t appreciated the cost to research time that would involve and this work is for me a reminder of trying to juggle too much and desperately trying to stop this project being one of the plates lying smashed on the ground.  It was finished in the States, during a conference.  My body clock hadn’t adjusted and so I was able to do the conference during the day and work on the paper at night, forgoing the social programme.  Once I’d got to a point where I knew how much time I could finish it, I took myself off to the Walker Art gallery meaning Claus Oldenberg is forever linked in my mind to this project.  I was also listening and reflecting on the papers I was hearing and I was influenced by the voices I listening to.  Of my published work, the tone of this article feels the most trans-Atlantic.

If you’re an academic or student, you should be able to access the article through your library.  Here’s the journal page with full citation etc.

If you don’t have access, please drop me a line and I can get a copy of the full text to you.

Here’s the abstract for the piece:

This article seeks to explore bareback sex in the context of an evolving socio-legal landscape. The emergence of homonormativity and the intrinsic focus upon marriage and an agenda of domesticity have cemented the ‘good gay’ at the heart of contemporary society. For the ‘bad queer’, bareback as identity and bareback as act can be negotiated as points of difference, but the law continues to struggle with such difference. Instead, we increasingly see doctrinal law along with the force of law seeking to erase bareback sex, notably in the context of pornography. This piece argues for the radical power of bareback sex as a liberation-inspired concept, one that serves as point of resistance to law.

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