Sexing Political Culture in the History of France

by Alison M. Moore

Reviews

"Offers a series of fascinating vignettes on different historical instantiations of gender and sexuality across time ... Provides an insightful overview of the kind of scholarship of gender and sexuality that has emerged in the last decade, and stands as an invaluable resource for historians." – Canadian Journal of History

“Alison Moore's sparkling collection of essays offers a host of fascinating perspectives on gender in French politics from the European witch-craze through to the current head-scarf controversy.” – Colin Jones, Professor of History, Queen Mary University of London

"Sexing Political Culture in the History of France gathers together several compelling essays that nuance older studies about how gender and sexual symbols stand in for the nation in its various incarnations from the Early Modern period to the present. By combining a long historical trajectory with detailed analyses of how the state or its opponents have used symbolic meaning to mobilize political action, clarify or criticize hierarchy, or simply make sense of social norms, these essays demonstrate the distinctive power of such symbolism and thus of this area of focus, which traverses intellectual, social, cultural history as well as the history of gender and sexuality. This is a cutting-edge collection that moves coherently from the early modern witch hunt to race in postcolonial France." – Carolyn J. Dean, John Hay Professor of International Studies, Brown University

Sexing Political Culture in the History of France marks a genuinely new departure in European history of sexuality studies. Alison Moore has gathered together contributions which demonstrate the manifold ways in which the language of gendered and sexualized stereotypes, behaviors, and practices has been deployed in the service of patriotic propaganda and the othering energies of nationalism in the French context. Further, she urges a nuanced focus on the fact that scholars too have embraced the tendency to metaphorize national, religious and political situations using sexual and gendered symbols. As such, the book also stands as a meditation on the political and libidinal character of historiography itself. The essays collected together in the volume cover a broad historical span and treat a wide-ranging array of fascinating topics from sixteenth- and seventeenth-century witch-hunts to historically recent debates about French secularism, Islamophobia, and the wearing of the veil. This book is a must-read for all students and scholars of French and European studies, gender and sexuality studies, and the history of ideas.” – Lisa Downing, Professor of French Discourses of Sexuality, University of Birmingham


 

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