Margot Weiss is a cultural anthropologist whose research focuses on the sexual politics of late capitalism, primarily in the US. She holds an AB from the University of Chicago (1995), 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, and coordinates the Queer Studies Course Cluster.
Professor Weiss’s book, Techniques of Pleasure: BDSM and the Circuits of Sexuality (Duke University Press, 2011), was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in LGBT Studies and was awarded the Ruth Benedict Prize for “Outstanding Monograph” by the Association for Queer Anthropology. An ethnography of BDSM communities in the San Francisco Bay Area, Techniques of Pleasure charts the sexual politics of neoliberalism. It complicates the often-polarized discussions of BDSM within queer, feminist, and anti-racist debates by linking sexual communities to the social dynamics of late capitalism.
Margot Weiss has published essays on the sexual politics of late capitalism, sexuality and American imperialism, neoliberalism and new queer activisms, and method in queer anthropology in journals such as GLQ, Journal of Homosexuality, Anthropologica, and Radical History Review. Her forum on left intellectuals and the politics of knowledge in the neoliberal university appeared in American Quarterly. She is currently working on her second book, “Visions of Sexual Justice,” which explores the parameters of a radical political imagination among North American queer left activists at a time of economic precarity.