Marlen’s proposal has been accepted for the 2009 American Anthropological Association’s Annual Conference.
Click the logo above to view more info about Marlen’s language, sexuality, and autoethnography research.
GAY IN ENGLISH, NOT IN JAPANESE: AUTOETHNOGRAPHIES OF LANGUAGE ANDSEXUALITY IN JAPAN
The concept of “second language identity” and its connection to oral and writtendiscourse has been well-documented by such researchers as Pavlenko, Norton,Hoffman, and Matsuda, but what is the significance of second language identityand communication when it comes to understanding, revealing or performing one’ssexuality? This study examines the language learning narratives of fiveself-identified, bilingual, queer Japanese men and women, narratives that werethen employed by their writers to complete autoethnographic explorations of theabove question. By choosing written, ethnographic inquiry to re-construct thelived experiences of these individuals, stories emerge that highlight theintersections of second language identities and human sexualities. Responses tothe writing prompt reveal the various ways that English language is used as atool for global communication, motivations to learn and participate in Englishlanguage communities, and the perceived benefits of giving an account of oneselfvia written stories. Examples of both participant and researcher narratives willbe showcased alongside an examination of the significance of anthropologicalmethodology in the field of English language studies.