JPS378H1: Sex and the State


What role have sex and sexuality played in the formation of the modern nation State? How has the State regulated sex? This course explores these questions with a theoretical focus on biopolitics. We will proceed in two parts. First, we engage Foucault’s History of Sexuality and its reception by postcolonial theorists, focusing on questions of state building. The second part of the course shifts examination from State formation to contemporary forms of sexual regulation by the State. This includes maintenance of the public/private divide, citizenship law and nationalism, administrative violence and the prison industrial complex, and neoliberalism and BDSM. By the end of the course, students are able to apply core theoretical concepts and identify forms of contemporary sexual regulation in a variety of Western and non-Western contexts.

(Given by the Department of Political Science and the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies.)

A combined minimum of 1.0 credit from POL and/or SDS courses
POL378H1 (Topics in Comparative Politics II: Sex and the State), offered in Fall 2017 and Fall 2018; SDS375H1 (Special Topics in Sexual Diversity Studies A: Sex and the State), offered in Fall 2017 and Fall 2018
Social Science
Society and its Institutions (3)