Josh Cerretti

Jun 26, 2020

Abuses of the Erotic

Militarizing Sexuality in the Post-Cold War United States

University of Nebraska Press 2020

purchase at bookshop.org In this episode, Jana Byars talks to Josh Cerretti, Associate Professor of History and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Western Washington University about his new book, Abuses of the Erotic: Militarizing Sexuality in the Post-Cold War United States (University of Nebraska Press, 2020). In Cerretti’s own words, “In Abuses of the Erotic, I argue that the connections between sexuality and militarism apparent in the wake of September 11, 2001, are best understood in reference to the decade that immediately preceded that day. The first decade following the Cold War became the last decade before the War on Terror in large measure through changes in the relationship between sexuality and militarism. That is, I argue that a project of militarizing sexuality succeeded in the 1990s United States, and, furthermore, the mass mobilizations of state violence collectively known as the “War on Terror” could not have happened without sexualities having been militarized.” Our theory-heavy conversation covers the militarizing of sexual violence, conceptions of domestic space and protection, and homonormativity and gender performance. This is a fun and far-ranging conversation about a compelling and challenging read.

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