Academic Absurdity of the Week: Hobosexuality?

Did you know there is an academic journal called Sexualities? Of course there is. But like the new Playboy, apparently it doesn’t print pictures. Instead it prints this:

Mapping the Hobosexual: A Queer Materialism

Heather Tapley, University of Victoria


The following article introduces the hobosexual as a concept in queer materialism. Mapped at the intersection of not-for-profit hobo sex and labor practices historically, the hobosexual collapses the apparent impasse between the material and the symbolic so prevalent in queer studies. The concept represents the redeployment of queer as anti-capitalist practice; highlighted are the non-normative hobo practices of nonproductive expenditure, but also the recognition that these abnormalities are organized by capitalist systems of normalization designed to engender profit. The article also considers the degree to which industrial capitalism affected both hobo mobility and hobo anti-capitalist practice in the 19th century. Generated out of hobo history and queer as anti-capitalist practice, the hobosexual represents resistance to capitalist systems of normalization and enables connections, not necessarily between identities, but between anti-capitalist practices generated out of difference.

What—nothing about the symbolism of trains (a hobo’s favorite form of transport) going into tunnels? Nothing about how it is time for a union membership drive? Can’t the Interstate Commerce Commission exert its jurisdiction? Oh wait—the white male heteronormative patriarchy abolished the ICC.

The whole article can be yours for just $36 from Sage Publications.

Hat tip, as always, to Real Peer Review.

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