This roundtable brings together three interdisciplinary and humanistic anthropologists to consider queer witchiness as tied to contemporary networked desires. Witchcraft, sorcery, and possession have long been objects of study central to anthropological inquiry. Here, though, we consider the witch in relationship to sex and networked queerness. Derided, exiled, and persecuted, the witch is a queer figure, one that circulates across social fields. We offer three inter-related case studies: BDSM/kink sex magick, the labyrithine conspiracies of QAnon followers, and the seductive algorithmic hailings of digital sex work.
Shaka McGlotten is Professor of Media Studies and Anthropology at Purchase College-SUNY. They are the author of Dragging: In the Drag of A Queer Life (2021) and Virtual Intimacies: Media, Affect, and Queer Sociality (2013)
Joey Russo is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Wesleyan University. They have been performing ethnographic fieldwork in the American South since 2008, focusing on rural queerness, late industry, and affect. Their first monograph, Hard Luck and Heavy Rain, is forthcoming from Duke University Press.
Margot Weiss is a scholar, teacher, and writer who studies queer sexual cultures in the context of US neoliberal capitalism. She is the author of Techniques of Pleasure: BDSM and the Circuits of Sexuality and numerous essays on queer left activism, sexuality and economy, feminist sex politics, queer anthropology, queer theory, and the politics of knowledge. She is Associate Professor of American Studies and Anthropology at Wesleyan University, where she directs the cluster in Queer Studies. For more, see margotweiss.com