Traces, Archives, Dead Ends: Adoption in Guatemala

Public Lecture by Dr. Silvia Posocco 

Normative assumptions about loving attachments saturate the field of transnational adoption. Drawing on ethnographic research on transnational adoption circuits from Guatemala to the Global North from the mid-20th century to 2006, in this paper I reconfigure transnational adoption as an assemblage of social practices intimately connected to violence, conflict, and longer-term structural assaults against Indigenous communities, or genocide. The queer necropolitics of adoption foreground how the terrain of loving attachments and kinning is underpinned by violent dekinning and dispossession. I dwell on the traces and remnants of these processes and show how, sometimes, what is left is a dead end.

Dr Silvia Posocco is an anthropologist based in the Department of Psychosocial Studies, Birkbeck, University of London.

Posocco is the author of:

  • Secrecy and Insurgency: Socialities and Knowledge Practices in Guatemala (Alabama University Press, 2014).
  • Co-editor of Queer Necropolitics, with Jin Haritaworn and Adi Kuntsman and (Routledge, 2014).
  • Decolonizing Sexualities: Transnational Perspectives, Critical Interventions, with Sandeep Bakshi and Suhraiya Jivraj (Counterpress, 2016).
  • Queering Knowledge: Analytics, Devices and Investments after Marilyn Strathern, with Paul Boyce and EJ Gonzalez-Polledo (Routledge, forthcoming).

Posocco is currently writing a new research monograph on transnational adoption circuits and the traces and remnants of violence, conflict and genocide in Guatemala