Hi, everyone! It's Wednesday and it's time for more Let's Read Ace Academics! Today's post is... a little different because today's post is all about your input!
We recently finished with the Let's Read of Asexuality and Sexual Normativity, which I picked partially to help us get started and largely because, being the first work of collected academic material on asexuality, it offers us a broader scope of ace academics and a grounding in the field in a way that, say, Bogaert's Understanding Asexuality does not.
But having found our feet, it's time to run ahead and fly or whatever fancy metaphor we can think of to use. It'll be good for me to have a small break and it'll let you all decide what direction we're going in next. So let's dive into what this is about:
The poll is open to everyone, not just my lovely patrons. It'll run for a week (so from now until the 20th) and then, as usual, I'll be live commenting on the paper of the week in Discord and posting a more structured essay with thoughts on it the week afterwards. Due to the fact that this is a mixture of individual papers and books, the poll will work as follows: if a book is a clear favourite, I'll read that one in full before putting up another vote. If any of the individual papers are a clear favourite, I'll read the four most popular papers and then put up another vote.
Our options are, in a sense, somewhat limited, but let's look at them. Most of the individual papers come from research portals like academia.edu.
First up! A reread option: Asexualities: Feminist and Queer Perspectives edited by Karli June Cerankowski and Megan Milks. This is the second of academic textbooks collecting papers on asexuality that I know of. I read it... a few years back. It's from 2014, so about a year after the journal publication of Asexuality and Sexual Normativity. This books focuses predominantly on, as the title suggests, feminist and queer theory and how asexuality relates to it.
There are 16 papers in all, divided into six parts. I really enjoyed the majority of the essays (bar one; that one can go hang) in this volume and would be excited to revisit them with a firmer grounding than I had then. This is by far the longest project simply because this is 16 papers rather than just the one.
The Invisible Orientation by Julie Sondra Decker. This is the only non-academic book on the list - and also from 2014 -, but given its importance to asexual visibility, I wanted to add it. This is the most well-known of the books about asexuality and written by a well-known activist. As the subtitle suggests, this is an introduction to asexuality aimed at non-academics. For me, this is also a reread and I'd be interested in bringing together activist insights with more academic research and to investigate how Decker handled both.
The Invisible Orientation has 5 sections - six if you count the resources, but this is just a combination of available resources and the works references/cited bibliography - so it would only take about a month to read and go through.
A Validated Measure of No Sexual Attraction: The Asexuality Identification Scale by Morag A. Yule, Lori A. Brotto, and Boris B. Gorzalka is a 2015 paper by Yule, Brotto and Gorzalka, whom we may recall from Asexuality and Sexual Normativity. It's 13 pages long, and explores the creation of a scale to measure asexuality aimed to allow better data gathering. I am... let's say sceptical of this one.
Asexual Resonances: Tracing a Queerly Asexual Archive by Ela Przybylo and Danielle Cooper is a 23-page paper from 2014 about the archiving of asexuality. Basically, from what I can tell because it doesn't start with an abstract, it's about the tension between academic research and asexual activism.
Asexuality: A possible background and how it relates to autism and neurodiversity by Leif Eckblad is an independent preprint paper from 2018. It's basically what it says on the tin: a 25-page discussion of the relationship between asexuality and neurodiversity.
The Lives of Asexual Individuals Outside of Sexual and Romantic Relationships: Education, Occupation, Religion and Community by Esther D. Rothblum, Kyra Heimann & Kylie Carpenter is a 13-page paper from 2018 about the lives of asexual individuals in the USA.
Asexuality: Sexual Health Does Not Require Sex by Brenna Conley-Fonda & Taylor Leisher is an 8-page paper from 2018 and looks at how asexuality challenges the definition of sexual health.
Turning the Lens Around—A Study of the Cardcaptor‘s Best Friend: Tomoyo Daidouji by Ilisha Mehta is a 2018 conference paper (11 pages) about, well, reading Tomoto Daidouji as acespec, specifically lithsexual.
Eclectic affinities : intimate friendships in women's colleges, 1880-1930 is an 88-paged thesis from 2005 by Christianne A. Gadd. This paper isn't specifically about asexuality, but overlaps with historical research into the way aromanticism may have manifested itself and been discussed in the past. Because this is a much longer thesis, I'd be treating it more like the books collecting papers.
‘My [asexuality] is playing hell with my dating life’: Romantic identified asexuals negotiate the dating game by T. Vares is an 18-paged 2017 paper about alloromantic asexuals and dating.
And... that's the lot for now! You can vote for multiple options, but please don't vote for everything. Stick to your four top choices. Anything that doesn't get voted on this time will return for another round because I aim to read it!
Asexualities: Feminist and Queer Perspectives
The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality
A Validated Measure of No Sexual Attraction: The Asexuality Identification Scale
Asexual Resonances: Tracing a Queerly Asexual Archive
Asexuality : A possible background and how it relates to autism and neurodiversity
The Lives of Asexual Individuals Outside of Sexual and Romantic Relationships: Education, Occupation, Religion and Community
Asexuality: Sexual Health Does Not Require Sex
Turning the Lens Around—A Study of the Cardcaptor‘s Best Friend: Tomoyo Daidouji
Eclectic affinities : intimate friendships in women's colleges, 1880-1930
‘My [asexuality] is playing hell with my dating life’: Romantic identified asexuals negotiate the dating game