From sexual rights to a 'queer' approach: an examination of the politics of sexuality in Ghana
Supervisors: Martin Rew and Emma Foster
My research is concerned with sexuality as a ‘development issue’. It adopts a broad understanding of sexuality, to encompass gender, sexual health, reproduction, sex education, intimacy and same-sex sexualities. Following Foucault, it understands sexuality as a key site of power relations and seeks to understand how different discourses – religious, political, developmental – imbricate to shape and construct sexual experience. It is further concerned with questions of personhood, identity and ‘embodiment’, and how these relate to the materiality of sex and power.
I am equally interested in concepts of sexual rights and sexual citizenship, and exploring what these might mean in different country contexts, namely Ghana. In so doing, I aim to take a queer approach to the study of Ghanaian sexual politics that destablises heteronormative models of gender and sexuality and privileges the view from ‘the margins’. I also apply this queer lens critically to current development discourse on sexual rights, aid conditionality and the globalisation of ‘LGBT’ identity.
Prior to joining IDD I spent two years as a VSO volunteer in northern Ghana, working for the local government in community development. I also have previous experience as a policy researcher in the UK voluntary sector.
I am on a ESRC +3 funded scholarship.
BA History and French
University of Leeds
MSc International Development, University of Birmingham
Concepts of sexual rights and sexual citizenship in development theory and practice
Poststructualist theorising on sexuality, discourse and power relations
‘Queering’ development and the globlisation of ‘LGBT’ rights
Masculinities and femininities
Religion, sexuality and development