Margot Weiss is a cultural anthropologist who brings ethnographic methodology informed by feminist and queer theory to the study of sexuality. She holds an AB from the University of Chicago (1995), and a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies and PhD in Cultural Anthropology from Duke University (2005). At Wesleyan, she teaches courses in the anthropology of sexuality and gender, queer studies, and social theory.
She is the author of Techniques of Pleasure: BDSM and the Circuits of Sexuality (2011, Duke University Press), which won the 2012 Ruth Benedict Book Prize and was a finalist for the 2012 Lambda Literary Award. Techniques of Pleasure charts the sexual politics of neoliberalism, complicating the often-polarized discussions of BDSM within queer, feminist, and anti-racist theories by linking sexual communities to the social dynamics of late capitalism.
She has published articles on the sexual politics of late capitalism (in Journal of Homosexuality, Anthropologica); on sexuality and American imperialism (in Out in Public); on neoliberalism and new queer activisms (in Radical History Review); and on method in queer anthropology (in GLQ). Her forum on “Academia and Activism: Left Intellectuals and the Neoliberal University” appeared in American Quarterly.
She is currently working on a new book tentatively entitled Visions of Sexual Justice. Based on comparative and multisited ethnographic fieldwork with queer activist organizations in New York City, Chicago, the Twin Cities, and Montreal, the book explores the possibilities and parameters of a radical political imagination at a time of economic crisis and precarity.