A Summer Repository Research Fellow Lecture with Deborah Cohen and Lessie Jo Frazier
The political events and movements signified by “68” flag the ways in which inter- and transnational dynamics were part of erotic economies of power often expressed in gendered and sexualized terms. We examine the political imaginaries animating social movements and sixties’ political culture writ large and how they are gendered, sexed, racialized, and transnational. Taking sex seriously, we argue, reveals both the gendered and sexed nature of political agency, and the profound social, political, and cultural transformations many of the ’68 movements engendered. Sex, sexuality, and gender offer critical lenses onto the workings of subjectivity, agency, political cultures of the state and contestatory social movements of the period, and show how the personal was (and still remains) political as a way of explaining ’68 as a pivotal year on a global scale.
Deborah Cohen, Associate Professor of History and Faculty Affiliate of Gender Studies, University of MissouriSt. Louis, brings questions of race, gender, imperialism, modernity, and labor to bear on nation-state formation and other political projects. She is the author of the prize-winning book, Braceros: Migrant Citizens and Transnational Subjects in the Postwar United States and Mexico (2011). Her new project, “Excluded,” uses the trope of the migrant figure, to explore the processes by which “the rural,” a pastoral ideal in 19th century U.S., came to designate by the 20th century a backward space, helping to transform “the urban” into the quintessential site of modernity.
Lessie Jo Frazier, Associate Professor of American Studies and Gender Studies, Indiana University, was trained as an anthropologist and historian. She is the author of Salt in the Sand: Memory, Violence and the NationState, in Chile, 1890-Present (2007) and co-editor of Gender's Place: Feminist Anthropologies of Latin America (2002) and Gender and Sexuality in 1968 (2010). She is currently writing Desired States: Sex, Gender, and Political Culture in Chile. With Deborah Cohen, she is writing Beyond ’68 (U Illinois Press) and “Global ’68: The Erotics of Modernization in Capitalist Empire” (Indiana U Press).
This talk is open to the IU community and the general public.