Hellfire: an anthropological ethnography
BDSM is a compound acronym composed of three term sets: bondage and discipline (BD), domination/submission (DS) and sadomasochism (SM). As a category of "unintelligible desires", BDSM has received little anthropological attention, residing - as it does - outside of the traditional hetero/homo logistics of normative sexual identity. With a few exceptions, archetypal notions of BDSM have pervaded current cross disciplinary approaches, which tend to be steeped in the taxonomies appropriate to psychopathology and psychosocial deviancy. However, closer examination of the complex sociality of BDSM serves to question this intellectual inheritance. This project describes an approach to BDSM that examines several key practices and theorises these in terms of structured (ritualised behaviour) and duty of care, situated within a defined community of practice.
Bio of project manager
Dr Lara Lamb is a senior lecturer in Anthropology in the Faculty of Arts, and a member of the Public Memory Research Cluster. She has published extensively on archaeology in Australia and the Pacific. Her current archaeological research activities include the Archaeology of Migration in the Kikori River Delta, PNG and the Jawoyn Homeland Project, Arnhem Land. Her current anthropological research interests are the anthropology of sexuality, body modification, and the BDSM communities of practice. Lara has recently been the recipient of several national competitive grants (AIATSIS research grant 2011 and a Commonwealth Government's Indigenous Heritage Program grant 2011-12).