Sexuality and Social Power
What is sex, anyway? Is there such a thing as a normal sexuality? Where does desire come from? If sex is such a natural, basic function of the body, then why do sexual practices change so drastically from culture to culture and over the course of time? The list of questions people ask about sex seems endless. Why are these questions so pressing and so difficult to answer? How can something which is a source of so much oppression also be the source of so much creative energy and imagination? This class will explore texts from two traditions which take sex seriously as central to questions of power and social organization. Feminist theory and queer theory have some things in common, but are often in conflict. Are these conflicts resolvable? There will be readings from American and French feminism, Black feminism, queer of color critique, lesbian separatism, masculinity studies, and porn studies.
Prerequisite: Great Books: Philosophy and Social Thought