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Use discount code E23FALU for 30% off your order at Duke University Press.

In Unseen Flesh Nessette Falu explores how Black lesbians in Brazil define and sustain their well-being and self-worth against persistent racial, sexual, class, and gender-based prejudice. Focusing on the trauma caused by interactions with gynecologists, Falu draws on in-depth ethnographic work among the Black lesbian community to reveal their profoundly negative affective experiences within Brazil’s deeply biased medical system.

In the face of such entrenched, intersectional intimate violence, Falu’s informants actively pursue well-being in ways that channel their struggle for self-worth toward broader goals of social change, self-care, and communal action. Demonstrating how the racist and heteronormative underpinnings of gynecology erase Black lesbian subjecthood through mental, emotional, and physical traumas, Falu explores the daily resistance and abolitionist practices of worth-making that claim and sustain Black queer identity and living.

Falu rethinks the medicalization of race, sex, and gender in Brazil and elsewhere while offering a new perspective on Black queer life through well-being grounded in relationships, socioeconomic struggles, the erotic, and freedom strivings

Dána-Ain Davis, Author of Reproductive Injustice: Racism, Pregnancy, and Premature Birth

“Unseen Flesh is a courageous and rich ethnography of Black lesbians’ encounters with gynecologists in Brazil. Nessette Falu pulls us into several theoretical conversations about medical violence and Black queer subjectivities and interrogates the sensorial and political consequences of gynecological exams. Yet she does not leave us hanging in the wings of medical domination and oppression; Falu uncovers how Black lesbians shape self-making through political and creative struggle.”
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