WGSS Race, Sex and Ethics Speaker Series: “Irregular Intimacy and the Sexual Politics of Democracy, from Slavery’s Shadow Families to Polygamy, Prostitution, and Pet Inheritance”

Thursday, April 13, 2017 - 5:00pm
WHC, Room 208 See map
53 Wall Street
New Haven
Sponsored by RITM

Adrienne Davis holds a dual appointment as Vice Provost and William M. Van Cleve Professor in the Law School at Washington University in St. Louis. Her administrative duties include coordinating diversity and faculty leadership across the University. She works closely with each of the seven schools and also coordinates a suite of initiatives and programs for the Provost’s office.

Professor Davis’ talk approaches polygamy, prostitution, and pet inheritance as more than just quixotic irregular intimacies.  Rather, taken together, they prompt us to interrogate unspoken, and perhaps unconscious, assumptions about the sexual politics of democracy.  They also implicate debates long thought to be over, over practices such as interracial intimacy, which, although now legally regularized remains rhetorically and theoretically fretsome.  Finally, they cue us to engage thoughtfully related debates and crises, including the debate challenging the homosocial intimacy of gender segregated bathrooms.  In the end, the talk will show how each of these socially condemned practices exemplifies the connection between normative intimacy and liberal capitalist democracy, or good intimacy citizenship.

Sponsored by WGSS, LGBT Studies, James C. Mandelbaum & Steven M. Byrnes Fund for LGBTS, Yale College, Center for Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration, Yale Women’s Center, American Studies, English, Religious Studies, and the Edward J. and Dorothy Clarke Kempf Memorial Fund