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Soviet Sex 1917-1930: Post-Revolutionary Libidinal Economies

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Following the Russian revolution in 1917, the fledgling Communist government legalized divorce and abortion, secularized marriage and decriminalized homosexuality. New collective forms of housing emerged and women were encouraged to enter the workplace. But a condemnation of the traditional boutgeois family was combined with an attack on'bohemian' promiscuity. Discourses around sex were ambivalent: utopian visions of gender equality (and sometimes of gender destruction) were combined with anxieties that enegy might be diverted from the revolutionary cause towards frivolous erotic pursuits. These debates should not be divorced from the upheavals and privations of the Soviet context, but many of the ideas, bith radical and reactionary, remain provocative attempts to profoundly rethink human relations, that might spark with contemporary feminist theory in surprising ways. The class would take the form of discussion. Some contextual information will be presented. Chapter1 of Alexandra Kollontai's novel Red Love is suggested reading for discussion - available online via

Hannah Proctor
Friday, May 10, 2013 - 17:30
2141 Broadway, 94612 more
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