Professor: George Paul Meiu
This seminar explores the complex links between sexuality, capitalism and power. Sexuality has
long represented a central domain for the creation and contestation of subjects and sovereignties,
labor and capital, relatedness and belonging, desire and development, security and violence. With
the publication of Michel Foucault’s The History of Sexuality (1976), the role of modern forms of
power that work to discipline subjects and regulate populations has become central to how scholars
conceptualize sexuality. By comparison, however, the relation between sexuality, the capitalist
economy, and the myriad forms of postcolonial sovereignties has only recently become the topic of
rigorous analysis. In this seminar, we revisit classic theories by Freud, Foucault, Lacan and Fanon
as well as texts in feminist, queer and postcolonial theory in order to craft a conceptual vocabulary
for understanding emerging configurations of sex and politics in late capitalism. We ask: Under
what historical circumstances does sexuality become a marker of inclusion, exclusion or
exceptionalism in relation to race, ethnicity, culture, and state politics? What are the relations
between commodities, discourses of sexuality, and the erotic practices of concrete historical actors?
And what do we learn about globalization when we think of sexuality as a central domain of
economic production, social reproduction, and political belonging?