Thursday, March 03, 2011

The Body and the State - Session Two: The Sexual Body - The New School for Social Research

As promised, another installment in the THE NEW SCHOOL FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH conference on The Body and the State. This one is cool - some very interesting topics.

The Body and the State - Session 2 - Part 1

Moderator: William Hirst, Professor of Psychology, The New School for Social Research

How do various forces compete to impose their conception of what is "normal" sexual behavior? How do we come to see particular sexual practices as legitimate (or not) and therefore legally acceptable? Cross-cultural comparisons and case studies.

Understandings of gender and the sexual body change. These changes are reflected in art, literature, and myth, as well as in policy. What can the history of discourse about the sexed body contribute to contemporary discussions about policy questions concerning sexuality?

God's Body: Historical Conflicts over the Representation of the Sexual Body of the Hindu God Shiva
• Wendy Doniger, Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions, University of Chicago Divinity School

Does Sexuality Exist Without the State?
• Sharon Marcus, Orlando Harriman Professor of English, Columbia University

What are the policy implications of the forces shaping contemporary understandings of gender and the male or female body, including feminism, transsexuality, genital mutilation, and debates about gender and biology? Is a gender-neutral legal system possible?

Verdicts of Science, Rulings of Faith: Transgender/Sexuality in Contemporary Iran
• Afsaneh Najmabadi, Francis Lee Higginson Professor of History and of Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, Harvard University

Securing Gender: States, Bodies, and Identity Verification
• Paisley Currah, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Brooklyn College, City University of New York (Paper co-authored by Tara Mulqueen)

The Body and the State - Session 2 - Part 2

Race and class are often tied to reproductive rights, access to health care, and sexual violence (e.g. rape, human trafficking). How is the struggle for race and class justice connected to struggles surrounding policies concerning the body?

Body Politic, Bodies Impolitic
• Charles W. Mills, John Evans Professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy, Northwestern University

Violence and Humanity: Or, Thinking Vulnerability as Political Subjectivity
• Anupama Rao, Associate Professor of South Asian History, History Department, Barnard College

Who we are, what we do, and with whom affect how sexual behavior is controlled and judged. How does this play out in different cultures and legal systems?

Sexual Orientations, Rights and the Body: Immutability, Essentialism, and Nativism
• Edward Stein, Vice Dean, Professor of Law, and director of the program in Family Law, Policy, and Bioethics at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University

Gender Pluralism: Muslim Southeast Asia Since Early Modern Times
• Michael G. Peletz, Professor, Department of Anthropology, Emory University

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