Probing the Problematics: Sex and Sexuality
Publisher: Inter-Disciplinary Press | ISBN: 9781904710 | edition 2008 | PDF | 375 pages | 1,93 mb
Marie-Luise Kohlke and Luisa Orza
The Third Global Conference on Critical Issues in Sex and Sexuality, held in Krakow, Poland, from 29 November to 2 December 2006, opened inauspiciously under a literal blanket of fog, which shut down the city airport and led to flight diversions and delayed arrivals among many of the conference delegates. The fog might be seen as a curiously apt metaphor for the difficulties that researchers continue to face in critically examining the subject of the long-term Inter-Disciplinary.Net project to which this conference contributed. For all its obsessive prominence in globalised world communities and markets, sex and sexuality as research topics retain suspect connotations of having as much to do with narcissistic pleasure as with sociopolitical conscience and critique, of playing on sensationalising tendencies rather than developing a critical self-consciousness of our positioning as desiring subjects within and between competing ideological discourses on human nature, identity, and society.
Yet the conspicuous proliferation of sexuality in myriad everyday contexts - cinema, human rights, sex education, AIDS awareness campaigns, gay/lesbian/transsexual/inter-sex activism, prostitution, sex crimes, trafficking, and reproductive rights, to name only some - demands that we accord the cultural staging of sex and sexuality serious attention, since it so obviously impacts and shapes contemporary reality before our very eyes. The subject of sex and sexuality demonstrates not only the by now accepted integral enmeshment of personal with public politics, but also of individual enactments of desire with their performance within (or in opposition to) the collective life of the societies inhabited, both in bodily fact and fantasy.
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