Sgt. Martha is a former student of mine and I now call her a friend. Martha and I are closer now thousands of miles apart than we ever were when we stood next to each other in the same classroom for a semester. I guess war does that to people: It binds you nearer to those you care about because every day there is the danger you will never see them alive again. Martha is somewhere in Iraq serving their country, and ours, in the effort to help build a Democracy in the Middle East.
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Tom Boellstorff is a good friend of mine from Nebraska and as long as I have known him he has been the living embodiment of SuperGenius.
Tom and I met when he was in high school senior and I was in my final university year. Tom wrote original music for many of my projects and his melodies and work ethic were incredibly valuable to the success of the project.
Part of Tom’s SuperGenius grew from musical composition and that training in leitmotivs and intricate chord structure translated into an adult love for scholarship at the Ph.D. level. Tom is currently an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of California, Irvine where his scholarly work inspires people across the world.
Speaking in Queer Tongues is a great book published by the University of Illinois Press and Tom is one of the book’s editors. Chapter 7, “Authentic, of Course!”: Gay Language in Indonesia and Cultures of Belonging was written by Tom and he kicks off the chapter with this rich description:
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