The Foucault Society presents
Brooke M. Beloso ,”On the Other Side of Bars”: Queer Theory, Sex Work and Foucault’s Unreason
Thursday, May 17, 2012
CUNY Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue, Room 5409
New York, NY
Beloso turns to Foucault’s History of Madness (1961) in order to trace a new queer genealogy of sex work which challenges and responds to long-standing debates within feminist theory, as well as silences in queer theory. Her paper moves beyond the rigid oppositions that continue to divide theorists of sexuality and gender while taking seriously both the historical construction of prostitution and the lived experience of contemporary sex workers.
We are delighted to invite you to join the discussion.
We will have wine and snacks. All are welcome.
Open to the public.
Suggested donation: $8.
RSVPs are appreciated.
For abstract and speaker bio, see below or go to our website: www.foucaultsociety.org
|ABOUT THE TALK:
During the late nineties, leading voices of the sex worker rights movement began to publicly question queer theory’s virtual silence on the subject of prostitution and sex work. However, this attempt by sex workers to “come out of the closet” into the larger queer theoretical community has thus far failed to bring much attention to sex work as an explicitly queer issue. Refusing the obvious conclusion—that queer theory’s silence on sex work somehow proves its insignificance to this field of inquiry—I trace in Foucault’s oeuvre signs of an alternate (albeit differently) queer genealogy of prostitution and sex work. Both challenging and responding to long-standing debates about prostitution within feminist theory, I offer a new queer genealogy of sex work that aims to move beyond the rigid oppositions that continue to divide theorists of sexuality and gender. Focusing specifically on History of Madness (1961), Discipline and Punish (1975), and History of Sexuality Volume I (1976), I make the case for an alternate genealogy of sex work that takes seriously both the historical construction of prostitution and the lived experience of contemporary sex workers.
Brooke M. Beloso (Ph.D., Comparative Literature, Emory University) is Assistant Professor of Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies at Butler University in Indianapolis. Her recent essay, “Sex, Work, and the Feminist Erasure of Class,” is forthcoming in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society.
About the Foucault Society:
The Foucault Society is an independent, nonprofit educational organization offering a variety of programs dedicated to the critical study of the ideas of Michel Foucault (1926-1984). All of our events are open to the public. We welcome new participants who have an interest in Foucault’s work and its impact on diverse areas of inquiry, including critical social theory, philosophy, politics, history, culture, gender/sexuality studies, and the arts.
The Foucault Society is a 501 (c) (3) recognized public charity. Donations are tax deductible under section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code.