Lessie Jo Frazier

Dec 7, 2020

Desired States

Sex, Gender, and Political Culture in Chile

Rutgers University Press 2020

Sarah Hines (Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Oklahoma) and James Cane-Carrasco (Associate Professor, Departments of History and International & Area Studies, University of Oklahoma) speak with Lessie Jo Frazier (Professor, Departments of Gender Studies and American Studies, Indiana University-Bloomington) about her new book,  Desired States: Sex, Gender, and Political Culture in Chile (Rutgers UP, 2020).

In a powerful refutation to scholars who relegate gendered social order and sexuality to the private sphere, Lessie Jo Frazier contends that desire played a central role in the political culture of the modern Chilean state. In four chapters and an epilogue that span 1913 to 2019, Prof. Frazier documents how public debates over sexuality—including those over working women’s behavior, the vulnerability of male prisoners of war, and socialist masculinities—have long shaped the body politic. Frazier unites ethnographic fieldwork, cultural criticism, and extensive archival research to highlight how states and political movements conjure or condemn people’s desires for institutional purposes. Join us for a conversation about the serendipity that brought her to research in Chile, and the diverse influences that shaped this book.

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