Donald L. The Erotics of History challenges long-standing notions of sexuality as stable and context-free--as something that individuals discover about themselves. Rather, Donald L. Donham argues that historical circumstance, local social pressure, and the cultural construction of much beyond sex condition the erotic.
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Donham visited this anonymous West African community multiple times in order to conduct fieldwork for one year on the hybridized culture of the region, exploring the economic, social and sexual history of its particular erotic practices. The Erotics of History , therefore, is largely devoid of ethnographic details, instead seeking answers to a larger complex of questions concerning colonialism, slavery, technology, capitalism, and erotic identity This approach allows Donham to critique the universality of sexuality by focalizing one particular cultural erotic practice. Specifically, Donham analyses an erotic practice in which African men meet white, homosexual American and European men over the internet, and invite them to live in their community from anywhere from one month to a few years. The white men typically act as benefactors for their African lovers, supporting them financially and purchasing gifts, homes, automobiles and alike for them during their stay. These relationships are grounded, argues Donham, in the historical fetishization of African men under the European colonial gaze, which tended and still tends to hypermasculinize African men.
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The Erotics of History challenges long-standing notions of sexuality as stable and context-free--as something that individuals discover about themselves. Rather, Donald L. Donham argues that historical circumstance, local social pressure, and the cultural construction of much beyond sex condition the erotic. Donham makes this argument in relation to the centuries-old conversation on the fetish, applied to a highly unusual neighborhood in Atlantic Africa. There, local men, soon to be married to local women, are involved in long-term sexual relationships with European men.
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