Meiu, George Paul. Forthcoming. “Underlayers of Citizenship: Queer Objects, Intimate Exposures, and the Rescue Rush in Kenya.” Cultural Anthropology, no. 35(4): 575-601.
Meiu, George Paul. Forthcoming. “Queerly Kenyan: On the Political Economy of Queer Possibilities.” HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, no. 10(2).
Meiu, George Paul. 2020. “Panics over Plastics: A Matter of Belonging in Kenya.” American Anthropologist, no. 122(2): 222-235.
Meiu, George Paul, Jean Comaroff, and John L. Comaroff. 2020. “Introduction: Ethnicity, Inc. Revisited.” Ethnicity, Commodity, In/Corporation, edited by George Paul Meiu, Jean Comaroff, and John L. Comaroff, 1-35. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Meiu, George Paul. 2020. “On Branding, Belonging, and the Violence of a Phallic Imaginary: Maasai Warriors in Kenyan Tourism.” Ethnicity, Commodity, In/Corporation, edited by George Paul Meiu, Jean Comaroff, and John L. Comaroff, 35-66. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Meiu, George Paul. 2019. “Who Are the New Natives? Ethnicity and Emerging Idioms of Belonging in Africa.” A Companion to the Anthropology of Africa, edited by R. Grinker, E. F. Gonçalves, C. B. Steiner, and S. Lubkemann, 147-172. Oxford: Wiley.
Ethno-erotic Economies: Sexuality, Money, and Belonging in Kenya
Meiu, George Paul. 2017. Ethno-erotic Economies: Sexuality, Money, and Belonging in Kenya. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Abstract

Ethno-erotic Economies explores a fascinating case of tourism focused on sex and culture in coastal Kenya, where young men deploy stereotypes of African warriors to help them establish transactional sexual relationships with European women. In bars and on beaches, young men deliberately cultivate their images as sexually potent African men to attract women, sometimes for a night, in other cases for long-term relationships.
George Paul Meiu uses his deep familiarity with the communities these men come from to explore the long-term effects of markets of ethnic culture and sexuality on a wide range of aspects of life in rural Kenya, including kinship, ritual, gender, intimate affection, and conceptions of aging. What happens to these communities when young men return with such surprising wealth? And how do they use it to improve their social standing locally? By answering these questions, Ethno-erotic Economies offers a complex look at how intimacy and ethnicity come together to shape the pathways of global and local trade in the postcolonial world.

WINNER OF THE 2018 RUTH BENEDICT PRIZE (Association for Queer Anthropology, American Anthropological Association)

WINNER OF THE 2019 NELSON GRABURN PRIZE (Anthropology of Tourism Interest Group, American Anthropological Association)

FINALIST OF THE 2018 ELLIOT P. SKINNER BOOK AWARD (Association for Africanist Anthropology, American Anthropological Association)

“Forms of sex that were unheard of, unorthodox circuits of money, and new ways of asserting one’s belonging: Meiu has a true talent for bringing out the unexpected articulations that make present-day developments in Africa so challenging. New opportunities teach Samburu morans to use their ostentatious masculinity for making money on the Kenyan beaches with dramatic consequences back home. Ethno-erotic Economies is a fascinating study not only because of its theme but also due to the eloquent interaction between vivid ethnography and seminal interpretations.” Peter Geschiere, author of The Perils of Belonging: Autochthony, Citizenship, and Exclusion in Africa

Ethno-erotic Economies is a brilliant book—beautifully written, ethnographically rich, and theoretically provocative. Meiu explores the radical and rapid changes in Samburu economies, sexualities, and gender and generational relations with sensitivity, empathy, and an astute analytical sensibility. This is a must-read for scholars and students alike in African studies, sexuality studies, and anthropology.” Dorothy Hodgson, author of Gender, Justice, and the Problem of Culture

Ethno-erotic Economies is a stunning ethnographic achievement. Meiu’s exploration of how ethnicity, gender, money, and intimacy shape dynamics of belonging and value in contemporary Kenya speaks to important debates in African Studies, queer studies, and anthropological inquiry in the broadest sense.” Tom Boellstorff, author of A Coincidence of Desires

[PDF - Introduction]
Meiu, George Paul. 2016. “Belonging in Ethno-erotic Economies: Adultery, Alterity, and Ritual in Postcolonial Kenya.” American Ethnologist 43 (2): 215-229.
Meiu, George Paul. 2015. “Colonialism and Sexuality.” The International Encyclopedia of Human Sexuality (Volume 1), edited by Patricia Whelehan and Anne Bolin, 239-242. Malden, Oxford: Wiley.
Meiu, George Paul. 2015. “Beach-Boy Elders and Young Big-Men: Subverting the Temporalities of Ageing in Kenya's Ethno-Erotic Economies.” Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology 80 (4): 472-496.
Meiu, George Paul. 2011. “On Difference, Desire, and the Aesthetics of the Unexpected: 'The White Masai' in Kenyan Tourism.” Great Expectations: Imagination and Anticipation in Tourism, edited by Jonathan Skinner and Dimitrios Theodossopoulos, 96-115. Oxford: Berghahn Books.
Meiu, George Paul. 2009. “Mombasa Morans: Embodiment, Sexual Morality, and Samburu Men in Kenya.” Canadian Journal of African Studies 43 (1): 105-128. [PDF]
Meiu, George Paul. 2008. “Riefenstahl on Safari: Embodied Contemplation in East Africa.” Anthropology Today 24 (2): 18-22.