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, 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
A combined minimum of 1.0 credit from POL and/or SDS courses.
POL378H1 (Topics in Comparative Politics II: Sex and the State) offered in Fall 2017 and Fall 2018; SDS375H1 (Special Topics in Sexual Diversity Studies A: Sex and the State), offered in Fall 2017 and Fall 2018
January 26, 2023
Congratulations to our 2021/22 undergraduate award & scholarship recipients! Following a two-year hiatus, the department was delighted to return to hosting our undergraduate awards in-person this year to celebrate our...
June 3, 2021
In a bid to motivate her students in what has been a very difficult academic year, Professor Rebecca Kingston decided to give those enrolled in the winter 2021 term of...
May 21, 2020
Congratulations to undergraduate student Cheryl Cheung who has received a University of Toronto Excellence Award (UTEA). Going into her third year majoring in political science, with minors in visual studies...
January 29, 2020
Congratulations to all our amazing undergraduate students who picked up one the department’s twenty-three awards and scholarships at our annual undergraduate awards ceremony. In attendance were Dean of Arts &...