Negotiating Sexual Idioms: Image, Text, Performance affords new theoretical approaches and insights into the complexity of sexual discourse pervading contemporary cultures, exploring sexuality’s role in dominant conceptualisations of self and society, in patterns of political belonging and exclusion, and in societal transformations. Opening with a substantial critical introduction, this collection of twelve essays and creative pieces contributes to significant current debates regarding sexual rights and their violation, queer theory and identity politics, sexual fantasy formations and strategies of pleasure, and the celebration of sexual diversity, topics explored through a variety of disciplinary frameworks, including gender and film studies, religious philosophy, neo-Victorian and postcolonial literature, sociology, pornography, and performance art. The volume positions the subjects of sex and sexuality as crucial to our ethical understanding of the human, both in individual and communal terms, exploring how claims for sexual subjectivity and citizenship are formulated and the entitlements they entail. The analytical insights offered signal important new directions for critical engagement with the socio-political construction of sexuality and its strategic deployment within the cultural imaginary. Designed to appeal equally to scholars, students, and general readers, Negotiating Sexual Idioms will prove essential reading for those interested in multi-disciplinary approaches to reading sex and sexuality within inter-cultural contexts, from the early modern period to the present-day.
About the Author
Marie-Luise Kohlke is a contemporary literature specialist in neo-Victorian fiction and trauma narratives at Swansea University, Wales, and the General and Founding Editor of the peer-reviewed Neo-Victorian Studies e-Journal.
Luisa Orza is a writer and researcher in sexual and reproductive rights, with a special interest in power relations, gender, and the dynamics of negotiated dominance and submission.
Table of Contents
Marie-Luise KOHLKE and Luisa ORZA: Introduction: The Intricacies of Sexual Idioms
PART I Desiring Subjects and Sexual Others
Ilana SHILOH: Spiritual Carnality: Lars von Trier’s Breaking the Waves and Flannery O’Connor’s “A Temple of the Holy Ghost”
Tahseen BÉA: Is My Yearning for You Sexual or Spiritual? Cultivating the Divine between Us
Jan Peterson RODDY: Country-Queer: Reading & Rewriting Sexuality in Representations of the Hillbilly
Marie-Luise KOHLKE: Sexsation and the Neo-Victorian Novel: Orientalising the Nineteenth Century in Contemporary Fiction
PART II Beings and Bodies in Sexual Discourse
Shalmalee PALEKAR: Soma-Rasa
Kateřina LIŠKOVÁ: Normalise Me! Sexual and Gender Identity in Sexological, Criminological, and Feminist Discourses on Pornography
Erzsébet BARÁT: Les-being and Identity Politics: The Intersectionality of Sexual Identity and Desire
Marek M. WOJTASZEK: Brokeback Mountain and the Nature of Desire: Love beyond Transcendence
PART III Sexibition, Power, and the Gaze
Jennifer TYBURCZY: Perverting the Museum: The Politics and Performance of Sexual Artefacts
Benjamin JACOB: Whore, Court, Church, and Europe’s First Modern Obscene Text
Godwin SIUNDU: Imagining Manhoods: Voyeurism and Masculine Anxieties in East African Asian Fiction
Luisa ORZA: One
Notes on Contributors