Gender Studies | Gender and Discourse: Sex, Scandal, and Privacy
G701 | 2616 | Malti-Douglas, Fedwa


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 places 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 domain 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?