Topics in Comparative Politics II
Sex and the State
What role have sex and sexuality played in the formation of the modern nation state? How has the state regulated sex? This course explores these questions with a theoretical focus on biopolitics. We will proceed in two parts. First, we engage Foucault’s History of Sexuality and its reception by postcolonial theorists, focusing on questions of state building. The second part of the course shifts examination from state formation to contemporary forms of sexual regulation by the state. This includes maintenance of the public/private divide, citizenship law and nationalism, university sexual assault policy and discourse, administrative violence and the prison industrial complex, and neoliberalism and BDSM. By the end of the course, students are able to apply core theoretical concepts to identify forms of contemporary sexual regulation in a variety of Western and non-Western contexts.
Format and Requirements