The International Resource Network (IRN) Update

Spring came early this year for the International Resource Network; in the past several months, newly-funded IRN regions have been blooming, and already active regions are growing apace.
In addition to the official IRN Asia events, Mark Blasius, also an active IRN member, organized a panel at the IASSCS Conference on Mediations of Sexual Agency and Social Justice in the Philippines and Beyond.
Participants in this panel included Eufracio Abaya, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Philippines, on ethics of care surrounding aging Bakla (gay) men in a Philippine locale; Nikos Lexis Dacanay, a PhD candidate at the University of the Philippines on the moral economy of gay men in Boracay; and Maria Dulce Natividad, of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, on reproductive and sexual health decisions made by urban poor women in the Philippines.
IRN-Latin America/Caribbean
IRN-Latin America/Caribbean (LAC) is moving forward, growing, and developing, generating two sub-regions: Latin America (broadly defined as Ibero- and Lusophone) and Caribbean (broadly defined as English, French, and Dutch speaking). While LAC remains a region-at-large, the creation of these sub-regions within IRN-LAC makes space for the fuller expression of regional and linguistic specificity. This subdivision has allowed IRN-LAC to grow in a number of directions:
We have contracted Jasmin Blessing, who has
extensive experience working in human rights and sexual rights, as Subregional
Coordinator for Latin America, and
Vidyaratha Kissoon, a content manager and anti-violence activist, to coordinate the Caribbean Subregion. Please see page 5 for their detailed bios. While Jasmin and Vidya will collaborate on the larger IRN-LAC agenda, their separate geographical responsibilities will enable more focused attention on sub-regional needs.
IRN-LAC (Caribbean) regional board members including Rosamond King,
Angelique Nixon, and Thomas Glave
attended the 2009 Caribbean Studies Association conference held in Kingston, Jamaica. This is a historic moment for IRN-LAC, not only in terms of having a presence at a renowned international conference, but especially in terms of the longstanding antipathy in Jamaican public discourse towards LGBT people . IRN-LAC (Caribbean) Regional Coordinator Vidyaratha Kissoon is scheduled to present on the IRN and
introduce conference-goers to the resources available on the website. IRN members and fellow scholars will not only present their scholarly work, but also participate in a working meeting to brainstorm around IRN-LAC’s development and future goals.
IRN-LAC (Latin America) member
Rafael de la Dehesa attended the Latin
America Studies Association conference
in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and spread the word
about the success of IRN-LAC (Latin America)’s working paper series Sexualidades.
In April of this year, IRN-Africa published its second issue of its innovative web journal Outliers, titled, Intersectionality and Sexuality in Africa: A Critical Assessment of Women’s
Experience. The journal can be read on IRN-Africa co-ordinator Sybille Ngo Nyeck is hard at work organizing
a conference and regional meeting for IRN-Africa to be held in New York this fall. A call for papers is in the works; check the IRN website for details soon.
In addition to facilitating the needs of
regional IRN actors, my ongoing project over the past few months has been to
identify a technically competent web
developer and designer that understands the academic, interactive, and aesthetic needs as well as the mission of Based on feedback from IRN members as well as folks interested in IRN, we know that the site needs to change significantly in order to better engage, and be more useful to, users. We are currently still in the process of reviewing proposals and finding a best fit for IRN. You, the users, are the means and end to our site; please feel free to contact me with your needs and suggestions, or questions, as members/users of IRN!