Lusosex: Gender and Sexuality in the Portuguese-Speaking World

Lusosex: Gender and Sexuality in the Portuguese-Speaking World

Lusosex: Gender and Sexuality in the Portuguese-Speaking World

Lusosex: Gender and Sexuality in the Portuguese-Speaking World

Synopsis

Some of the most compelling theoretical debates in the humanities today center on representations of sexuality. This volume is the first to focus on the topic -- in particular, the connections between nationhood, sex, and gender -- in the Lusophone, or Portuguese-speaking, world. Written by prominent scholars in Brazilian, Portuguese, and Lusophone African literary and cultural studies, the essays range across multiple discourses and cultural expressions, historical periods and theoretical approaches to offer a uniquely comprehensive perspective on the issues of sex and sexuality in the literature and culture of the Portuguese-speaking world that extends from Portugal to Brazil to Angola, Cape Verde, and Mozambique.

Through the critical lenses of gay and lesbian studies, queer theory, postcolonial studies, feminist theory, and postmodern theory, the authors consider the work of such influential literary figures as Clarice Lispector and Silviano Santiago. An important aspect of the volume is thepublication of a newly discovered-and explicitly homoerotic -- poem by Fernando Pessoa, published here for the first time in the original Portuguese and in English translation. Chapters take up questions of queer performativity and activism, female subjectivity and erotic desire, the sexual customs of indigenous versus European Brazilians, and the impact of popular music (as represented by Caetano Veloso and others) on interpretations of gender and sexuality. Challenging static notions of sexualities within the Portuguese-speaking world, these essays expand our understanding of the multiplicity of differences and marginalized subjectivities that fall under the intersections of sexuality,gender, and race.

Excerpt

Frameworks and Boundaries

Since the 1980s in the English-speaking world, particularly in the United States, there has been an explosion of studies in the humanities, most notably in the fields of literary and cultural studies, that place sexuality at the center of their analyses of human subjectivity in ancient and modern societies, as well as within national cultures. This explosion has led to the formation of the academic discipline known as gay and lesbian studies. The rapid expansion and consolidation of this discipline, as well as its political and conceptual evolution, have led to the rise of queer theory, signaling an institutional transformation of gay and lesbian studies. The analyses of sexuality under the purview of gay and lesbian studies and queer theory have shown much originality, intellectual acumen, and political urgency, to the point of transforming the humanities, and, to a certain degree, the social sciences. Geopolitically speaking, however, only recently have studies of sexuality devoted their attention to cultures considered peripheral in relationship to the world economic, political, or cultural centers of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. With Lusosex we wish to fill a gap with regard to the place occupied by sexuality—as a field of cultural inquiry—in Portuguese-speaking societies.

Lusosex focuses on representations of sexuality throughout the Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) world in the fields of literature, history, popular culture, and modern dance. The term Lusophone includes those nation-states and communities, spanning several continents, where Portuguese is currently spoken, and where Portuguese-speaking cultures . . .

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