The conditions in transit ghetto of Theresienstadt generated in the inmates’ society a phenomenon of deliberate exchange of female sexual and social favors for food, protection, and symbolic capital. Scholars who have been analyzing sexuality of the victims in the Holocaust have so far only focused on sexual violence (including forced prostitution) or romantic relationships. Love and sexuality have been understood as either a refuge mechanism, or a form of oppression. This essay calls a third form into focus: consensual sexual barter using Theresienstadt as a case study. Based on extensive archival material, this study examines the wide range of exchanges: many of the interactions did not include sex act, but rather sexualized or social favors. Suggesting the concept of “sexual barter” rather than the narrow definition of “prostitution” points out to changes of practices and patterns: commodification of sexuality and relationships, and sexualization of the ghetto economy. Analyzing bartered sexuality identifies gender values as well as social hierarchies in the ghetto society. Morevoer, the findings reveal the gendered character of power mechanisms and underlying structures of the prisoners’ society. Close examination of sexual barter in Theresienstadt highlights the communication within and status of various national groups of Jews from Central and Western Europe as well as generational segments. Finally, this article discusses the importance of the postwar sexualized narratives.
This essay aims to clarify the debate over same-sex unions by comparing it to the fourth-century conflict concerning the nature of Jesus Christ. Although some suppose that the council of Nicaea reiterated what Christians had always believed, the Nicene theology championed by Athanasius was a dramatic innovation that only won out through protracted struggle. Similarly, despite the widespread assumption that Christian tradition univocally condemns homosexuality, the concept of sexuality is a nineteenth-century invention with no exact analogue in the ancient world. Neither hetero- nor homo- sexuality is addressed directly in Christian tradition; for this reason, the significance of older authorities for the modern debate is necessarily indirect. The dichotomy between progressive and conservative positions is therefore misguided: it is necessary neither to abandon tradition for the sake of progress nor to oppose innovation for the sake of fidelity.
Course booklet for the Sexuality and Gender course I taught at the University of Warwick in 2015-16.
Why are academic and policy discourses on child soldiers relatively silent on sexual violence against boys in armed groups? Drawing from the experiences of boys forcibly conscripted into the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), this Chapter seeks to transcend the gendered language of sexual slavery, concubines, forced pregnancy and rape. Most sexual and intimate relations in the LRA were violent impositions given the group’s modus operandi of forced conscription and sexual regulation. Keeping this in mind, this Chapter maps the multiple forms of sexual violence experienced by boys following their abduction and coming of age within the armed group. We note the erasures and conceptual challenges the category of the child soldier poses and highlight the need to advance analytical assemblages that extend beyond ageist and gendered understandings of sexual violence.
Christina Rossetti, sexuality, narrative poems
More detailed syllabus for second term (spring 2016) of the University of Warwick Sexuality and Gender in the Ancient Greek World module.
The aim of this course is to explore the cultural constructions of gender and sexuality in the literature of Medieval and Renaissance Southern Europe. We will approach questions such as the status of women and the context of misogyny, the societal role of same-sex relations, the presentation and visualization of sexuality, desire and the body. We will observe the period through the lens of 5 overarching themes that recur at different moments and in different texts throughout the course: “Sex, beauty and artistic creation,” “Sex, marriage and family,” “Sex and religion”, “Sex and science,” “Sex, deviancy and crime.” Using such themes as the framework for our interpretations we will read, analyze, and discuss in loose chronological order an array of literary works mostly of the Iberian and Italian tradition, from which we will tease out a interdisciplinary understanding of the cultural and aesthetic forces that shaped the representation of sex and sexual love before the advent of the scientific theories that in turn define modern gender and sexuality for us today. This historical approach will offer insights into the shaping of our own cultural and personal attitudes. By focusing our attention on the challenged and changing meanings of sexuality, this course aims to strengthen your skills of critical analysis.
This course was first taught at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in fall 2018. It addresses feminism, gender and sexuality studies, queer theory, and critical race and ethnic studies in conjunction with translation studies.
Examining gay journalism as gay liberation literature, this essay forwards a cultural history of sexuality informed by comparative urban and queer studies. My main argument is that gay liberation literature under apartheid lags behind important shifts in sexual activism; and my larger aim is to extend the valences of postcolonial queer studies towards a historical examination of North–South interactions in theorizing sexual activism. Gay liberation literature here refers to texts which contributed to the emergence of gay and lesbian sexualities in South Africa, including works of fiction, poetry, drama, anthologies as well as newsletters, newspapers, and newsletters. The primary archive used as an example of gay liberation literature is Link/Skakel, the official newsletter of the GASA, which later became a mainstream gay newspaper called Exit.
The subject of gay and lesbian sexuality is perhaps the most vexed issue in the contemporary Christian Church. Many churches have been forced to confront the matter, both theologically and pastorally and in consequence, controversies have proved divisive within the Church, most notably between conservative and liberal orientated denominations, as well as evangelical churches. This book explores these themes from a sociological perspective, addressing not only gay and lesbian sexualities, but also bi- and transgendered sexualities. With rich empirical material being presented by a team of experts, this book constitutes the first comprehensive sociological study of ‘non-hetero’ sexualities in relation to contemporary Christianity. As such, it will appeal to sociologists, scholars of religion and theology as well as readers across a range of social sciences