Sex Education, Popular Culture, and the Public Sphere
This chapter traces a discourse on “modern love.” Love is rarely considered as a dimension of Modernist revolution, and in focusing on love this chapter also wants to displace the now established associations between avant-garde modernism and sexuality rather than love. Michel Foucault sets out in The History of Sexuality, An Introduction (1976) to challenge an image of sexual liberation in which speaking about sex was both illicit and an inevitable sign of social progress. This chapter examines the intersection of the relation between art and the popular with the relation between subjectivity and expertise, and finds in that intersection what has come to be called “the public sphere.” The chapter begins with two concepts from Foucault's Introduction that could stand to be elaborated together more often: bio-power and the injunction to speak of sex.
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