Richard Karl Deang
Richard Karl Deang is a PhD candidate in Comparative Gender Studies with a concentration in Anthropology at Central European University. His dissertation is an ethnographic investigation of the biomedical category “men who have sex with men” in the context of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the current biopolitical crisis of the Philippines. It is concomitantly a project in the field of science and technology studies (STS) that offers a postcolonial, queer critique of the continuing mutual construction of sexuality, pathology, neocolonialism, and late modernity in the global biomedical age. His academic interests lie at the interface of queer and biocultural anthropology, men’s studies, science and technology studies, and postcolonial theory.
Within a Foucauldian paradigm, the MSM body, taken both as individual anatomy and as population, serves as the pivot of his research. His dissertation will focus on the following biopolitical loci: pathologized practices involving the body, such as homosexual sex and barebacking; body modification technologies, such as hormone replacement therapy; biomedical objects used on the body, such as drugs; and the biomedical surveillance of the body, such as HIV testing. Through his dissertation, he aims to map out the ways in which these practices create behavioral and biosocial realities for people categorized as MSM, a biosocial identity category that is adopted, defined, and translated in different ways by local HIV/AIDS advocacy organizations in the Global South/East.