New and Upcoming at the IRN

The International Resource Network
(IRN) has been rapidly gaining
steam over the last few months,
with new and exciting work coming
from a number of regions. The
African, and Latin American/Caribbean
regional boards and members
of the IRN have produced two new
journals, as well as independent
articles and groups; and the Asian
and European boards have attracted
much interest. In particular, the Latin
American regional board has been
one of the most productive in these
initial stages of the IRN. Constructed
in Mexico City at a conference in
2003, the IRN Latin America/Caribbean
produced a regional board,
invited Latin American and Caribbean
researchers and scholars to serve
on the IRN Advisory board and
produced a working papers series,
Sexualidades, whose editorial board
will put out its second issue early this
year.
The fi rst issue of Sexualidades, on
the “Social Construction of Sexuality
in Two Groups of Men Who Have
Sex with Men (MSM) from Poor
Neighborhoods in Two Peruvian
Cities” can be found at irnweb.org.
This study combines interviews and
group discussions and argues the
necessity of an understanding of the
social construction of MSM sexuality
for health and public policy projects
in Peru. The Latin America/Caribbean
Editorial Board has, in addition
to writing and translating two issues of Sexualidades; produced a number of
country reports which should be online
shortly.
The African Regional IRN board is
about to launch the fi rst issue of their
journal OUTLIERS, the IRN-Africa Collection
on Sexualities. This collection of
essays, short stories and articles takes an
interdisciplinary approach to the study
of social and sexual outsiders. This announcement
comes after a second Africa
regional board meeting in South Africa
summer 2007.
In addition to sponsoring a regional
meeting, IRN-Africa members have been
active in advocacy and representation at a
number of events in the region including a
recent meeting on extortion and blackmail
of LGBT identifi ed people in Africa held
in Johannesburg for which IRN- Africa
was able to sponsor a researcher to attend,
in conjunction with the International
Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Center
(IGLHRC).
Despite not having a formal Asian or
European board, a number of conferences
and informal gatherings have formed
around an Asian regional board and we
look forward to a great year for Asia,
Europe, and the IRN. Equally, we are
still crafting the Middle East and North
America Boards and invite members who
are interested in the formation of these or
any other regional boards to contact us at
irn@gc.cuny.edu.
Website
IRN’s website, located at irnweb.org, will
launch globally this spring—in a manner
refl ecting the IRN itself! Launches are
planned for a number of major conferences
across the globe as well as in each of the
regions; and here in New York.
We encourage you to visit irnweb.org
for launch event dates, to make a profi le,
check out upcoming events, new scholarship
and to link your own work and
groups to IRN website. Some the recent resources added to the IRN include:
the Sexualidades working papers,
conference announcements, and
syllabi.
IRN is particularly proud to
highlight the fi ve commissioned
essays available on the website.
These essays, by researchers across
the globe cover topics including the
construction of gay and lesbian studies
in Brazil, the “sexual revolution”
in China, the World Health Organization
and gender integration in
the fi eld of health sciences and many
more. The IRN website is a resource
for fi nding out about the “state of
sexuality” across Latin America and
the Caribbean, and Asia; lesbians
in Nigerian feminist literature and
the Yogyakarta principles and many
other subjects of interest to sexuality
researchers across the globe.
One of the most important aspects
of the website is its multi-lingual
capacity and to that end much of the
content above has been translated
into the four languages (Chinese,
French, English, and Spanish) of the
IRN and maybe further translated
into other regional languages. IRN
hopes to be a network across geographic
and linguistic barriers.
Finally, the website is also the link
to a number of different, exciting,
and relevant institutions to sexuality
studies. A few of the institutions
featured on the website include; the
South and Southeast Asian Resource
Centre on Sexuality; Centro Latinamericano
de Sexualidad y Derechos
Humanos (The Latin American
Center for Sexuality and Human
Rights); and Gender Dynamix (the
fi rst (and currently, the only) African
based transgender organization.