Gender Studies | Sex, Scandal, and Privacy
G701 | 2418 | Professor Fedwa Malti-Douglas


We tend to think of sexuality and sexual practices as one of the most
private domains in our world today. Yet, what happens when sex and
scandal come together in more public spaces such as courts of law?
This seminar will examine the issues of privacy, gender, testimony,
and the body in some landmark cases, such as the Lewinsky Affair and
the Bobbitt case. We shall also examine other materials (e.g. comic
strips) that deal with political and sexual scandals. Some of the
questions we shall address include: How does the gender of an
individual alter the nature of the testimony? How are male and female
bodies portrayed and subjected to investigation, as they become
themselves the domains of inquiry? How does the investigation of the
privacy of sexuality intersect with our notions of privacy and shame?
How do the different media (include electronic ones)contribute to this
erosion of privacy? How do the languages of the different media help
us to understand the complex issues of privacy?