If race is increasingly understood to be socially constructed, why does it continue to seem like a physiological reality? In Deadly and Slick: Sexual Modernity and the Making of Race (Verso, 2023), Sita Balani argues that the trickery of race comes down to how it is embedded in everyday life through the domain we take to be most intimate and essential: sexuality. Modernity inaugurates a new political subject made legible as an individual through the nuclear family, sexual adventure and the pursuit of romantic love. By examining the regulation of sexual life at Britain's borders, in colonial India, and through the functioning of the welfare state, marriage laws, education, and counterterrorism, Balani reveals that sexuality has become fatally intertwined with the making of race.
Louisa Hann attained a PhD in English and American studies from the University of Manchester in 2021, specialising in the political economy of HIV/AIDS theatres. She has published work on the memorialisation of HIV/AIDS on the contemporary stage and the use of documentary theatre as a neoliberal harm reduction tool. She is currently working on a monograph based on her doctoral thesis. You can get in touch with her at email@example.com.
Louisa Hann recently attained a PhD in English and American studies from the University of Manchester, specialising in the political economy of HIV/AIDS theatres.