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Notes on Gridlock: Genealogy, Intimacy, Sexuality

Notes on Gridlock: Genealogy, Intimacy, Sexuality hy does the recognition of peoples’ worth, of their human and civil rights, always seem to be hanging on the more or less fragile branches of a family tree? Why must we be held by these limbs? The two archives prompting this meditation are not new to me or to anyone else. Moreover, the social worlds and visions of these two archives are, geographically speaking, worlds apart. Stacks of land claim documents sit to the left of me. Some of these documents concern an Australian indigenous claim I am currently working on. Others compose the archives of claims already heard that I hope to use as a precedent for what I am trying to argue in the current case. All of them demand a diagram of a “local descent group.” That is what I am doing right now, drawing a genealogical diagram, a family tree, using now-standard icons for sex and sexual relationship: a diamond represents a man; a circle, a woman; an upside-down staple, sibling relations; a right-side-up staple, marriage; and a small perpendicular line between these two staples, heterosexual reproduction. The book I am currently reading, Family Values: Two Moms and Their Son, lies to the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Public Culture Duke University Press

Notes on Gridlock: Genealogy, Intimacy, Sexuality

Public Culture , Volume 14 (1) – Jan 1, 2002

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2002 by Duke University Press
ISSN
0899-2363
eISSN
1527-8018
DOI
10.1215/08992363-14-1-215
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

hy does the recognition of peoples’ worth, of their human and civil rights, always seem to be hanging on the more or less fragile branches of a family tree? Why must we be held by these limbs? The two archives prompting this meditation are not new to me or to anyone else. Moreover, the social worlds and visions of these two archives are, geographically speaking, worlds apart. Stacks of land claim documents sit to the left of me. Some of these documents concern an Australian indigenous claim I am currently working on. Others compose the archives of claims already heard that I hope to use as a precedent for what I am trying to argue in the current case. All of them demand a diagram of a “local descent group.” That is what I am doing right now, drawing a genealogical diagram, a family tree, using now-standard icons for sex and sexual relationship: a diamond represents a man; a circle, a woman; an upside-down staple, sibling relations; a right-side-up staple, marriage; and a small perpendicular line between these two staples, heterosexual reproduction. The book I am currently reading, Family Values: Two Moms and Their Son, lies to the

Journal

Public CultureDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2002

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