• A mother’s hope in the midst of existential immobility from state and stigma

      Smith, Katherine; email: katherine.smith-3@manchester.ac.uk (Berghahn Books, 2021-06-01)
      The article is situated ethnographically in households on the main social housing estate in Harpurhey, North Manchester, England. It explores the affective dynamics of motherhood and imaginations of the future with a backdrop of prolonged government disinvestment. We follow the experiences of a mother and her son as they deal with moments of uncertainty and attempt to imagine and prepare for his future free from dependence on state welfare. Considering that parenting marks time in the most intimate of ways and it confronts parents with the passing of time in terms of biological “growth” that sequences time for us, this article addresses how and at what points dependence on the state, over time, reconfigures the affective dynamics of motherhood and imaginations of familial dependencies into the future.
    • Crossdressing Dansō

      Fanasca, Marta; email: marta.fanasca@manchester.ac.uk (Berghahn Books, 2019-03-01)
      In this article, I focus on the childhood and adolescent life experiences of dansō (female-to-male crossdressers) who work as escorts in contemporary Japan, and on the process that led to their presentation of self as gendered masculine in their private and working lives. During their childhood and adolescence, dansō have to negotiate their identity and self-presentation to adhere to the gendered pressures of Japanese society. Through an analysis of interviews undertaken with 14 dansō informants, I explore dansō’s construction of a male identity before adulthood, highlighting the societal impositions they experienced and the coping strategies to which they resorted in order to create and maintain a space in which to express their queer selves.
    • Exploring Gay Men’s Threesomes

      Scoats, Ryan; email: ryanscoatsphd@gmail.com; Anderson, Eric; email: eric.anderson@winchester.ac.uk; White, Adam J.; email: adamwhitephd@gmail.com (Berghahn Books, 2021-09-01)
      Although there is abundant research regarding group sex between men, much of the current literature constructs group sex as homogenous and overlooks the nuance of how and why men engage in particular sexual behaviors. Accordingly, this research expands our understanding of group sex by focusing on a specific type of sex: the threesome. The results demonstrate how perspectives on threesomes may develop over time; at first appearing exciting before becoming relatively normalized and indistinct from dyadic sex. Encounters and exposure are fostered through the sexual opportunities available, in particular, geo-social networking apps. Despite their normalization, threesomes are not necessarily viewed as risk free. Thus, this research offers insight and understanding into how gay men engage in group sex and the contextual factors which make it possible.
    • Laughing with, Laughing at

      Lionis, Chrisoula; email: chrisoula.lionis@manchester.ac.uk; Efthymiou, Alkisti; email: alkisefth@gmail.com (Berghahn Books, 2021-09-01)
      The autumn of 2019 was characterised by an eruption of global protests, including Lebanon, Iraq, Ecuador, Chile, and Egypt. The velocity with which these protests emerged nurtured a sense that the Global South ‘was on the march’. At the same time as these events were rapidly unfolding, the world’s premier mass art exhibition, the Venice Biennale, was in its final weeks. Harnessing discourse analysis, participant observation, and collaborative auto-ethnography, the authors draw together a comparative study of the Chilean and Egyptian pavilions and assess the impact of ongoing and suspended revolutionary histories of both nations. Approaching art as a form of ‘practical aesthetics’ (Bennett 2012) and focusing on humour as an aesthetic quality enmeshed in complex political temporalities, this article analyses the relationship between humour, contemporary art, and revolution, demonstrating how the laughter facilitated by these two pavilions negotiates understandings of national pasts, and uprisings in the present.
    • Novel Reviews

      Toivanen, Anna-Leena; email: anna-leena.toivanen@uef.fi; Taylor, Joanna E.; email: joanna.taylor@manchester.ac.uk (Berghahn Books, 2021-03-01)
      Michèle Rakotoson, Elle, au printemps (Saint-Maur: Sépia, 1996), 122 pp.Kathleen Jamie, Surfacing (UK: Sort of Books, 2019), 240 pp., £7.99. Kathleen Jamie (ed.), Antlers of Water: Writing on the Nature and Environment of Scotland (Edinburgh: Canongate Books, 2020), 232pp., £20.
    • Pandemic Drones

      Hildebrand, Julia M.; email: hildebjm@eckerd.edu; Sodero, Stephanie; email: stephanie.sodero@manchester.ac.uk (Berghahn Books, 2021-03-01)
      When the novel coronavirus moved around the planet in early 2020, reconfiguring, slowing down, or halting everyday mobilities, another transport mode was mobilized: the pandemic drone. We highlight the increasing prominence of this aerial device by surveying international media coverage of pandemic drone use in the spring of 2020. To address a range of pandemic drone affordances and applications, we organize manifold cases under two broad categories: sensing and moving with the pandemic drone. Here we ask: what roles do, and could, drones play during the pandemic? Following the empirical examples and related mobilities research, we theorize the drone versus virus and the drone as virus. As such, the work identifies avenues for mobilities research into pandemic drones as a growing mobility domain. Moreover, in thinking through the pandemic drone, we demonstrate creative extensions of mobilities thinking that bridge biological and technological, as well as media and mobility frameworks when multiple public health and safety crises unfolded and intersected.
    • The Nuclear/Nuclear Family

      Kalshoven, Petra Tjitske; email: petratjitske.kalshoven@manchester.ac.uk (Berghahn Books, 2021-06-01)
      During the COVID-19 lockdown, as households were kept separate in a bid to contain the coronavirus, morally underpinned dynamics of fission and fusion occurred, privileging the ‘nuclear family’, which is taken here in two senses: the conventional social unit of a couple and their children, on the one hand, and the togetherness promoted by the nuclear industry in North West England, on the other. Whilst Sellafield’s Nuclear family fused with its host community in an outpouring of corporate kindness and volunteering, singles bereft of nuclear families were fissioned off from social life, which led to a corrective debate in the Netherlands. Drawing out analogies from a modest comparative perspective, I posit the nuclear family as a prism affording insights into the corporate, governmental and personal management of intimacy.