Kari A Lerum
Study of special topics in interdisciplinary arts and sciences. Prerequisite: BIS 300.
This course examines the ways that activists and institutions organize around “sexuality” for various purposes, including: the orchestration of moral panics; efforts to (re)align sexual practices and ideologies with “conservative,” “liberal,” or “progressive” principles; efforts to shift policies toward more inclusive definitions of who counts as a moral sexual citizen; and shifting cultural and institutional definitions and interventions related to “perversion,” sexual violence, sexual health, sexual rights, and sexual justice. Course readings, discussions, and assignments will be grounded in the central question of sexual regulation: How and why are sexual practices and identities regulated through policies, cultural discourses, geo-political power relations, and individual practices? When activists resist and attempt reframe such regulations, what sort of new (or old) relations of power emerge?
The course will start with foundational theoretical framings and then move to texts which examine the discourses and social movements around three broad topics: 1) the “sexualization of girls”; 2) LGBTQ issues; and 3) sex work and human trafficking. Students will be expected to keep up with a heavy reading load and will engage in a variety of writing assignments culminating in a final written and/or creative project.
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