This article examines how global call centers serve as affective zones of contact at the crossroads of sex and empire. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork and in-depth interviews with transgender call center workers in the Philippines, this essay explores how global outsourcing has reconfigured imperial histories and ethnosexual relations, particularly through the microlevel administration of affect, emotion, and desire in interactions between employees in the global South and their customers in the global North. After exploring the imperial and military origins of these call centers, especially those on former US military bases, this article investigates linkages between call center technologies and global sexual economies. Combining a sexual fields analytic framework with new empire scholarship, this essay examines how subjects in the global outsourcing industry participate in and resist the logics of racialized sex, empire, and global capitalism through everyday talk and bodily gestures.
1 October 2015