Naiman 1997 Sex

Title Information

Author: Eric Naiman

Title: Sex in Public

Subtitle: The Incarnation of Early Soviet Ideology

Place: Princeton, NJ

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Year: 1997

Pages: x + 307pp.

ISBN-10: 0691026262 (cloth) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century | Russian History | Cases: Victims / Liubov' B.; Types: Gang Rape

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Additional Information

Author: Eric Naiman, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of California at Berkeley


  Acknowledgments (p. ix)
  Note on Transliteration, Citation, and Translation (p. xi)
  Introduction (p. 3)
    Menstruation and a New Pair of Glasses (p. 3)
    Approaching NEP: Ideological Anxieties and the "Unarmed Eye" (p. 5)
    Utopia and Its Infections (p. 12)
    Sacrificing Culture / Reading Ideology (p. 16)
    Things to Come (p. 25)
  Chapter One. The Creation of the Collective Body (p. 27)
    Utopia, Misogyny, and the Russian Philosophical Tradition (p. 27)
    The Signification of Sex (p. 45)
    Fantasies of the War Communist Body (p. 57)
  Chapter Two. "Let Them Penetrate!": Strategies against Dismemberment (p. 79)
  Chapter Three. The Discourse of Castration (p. 124)
  Chapter Four. Behind the Red Door: An Introduction to NEP Gothic (p. 148)
  Chapter Five. NEP as Female Complaint (I): The Tragedy of Woman (p. 181)
  Chapter Six. NEP as Female Complaint (II): Revolutionary Anorexia (p. 208)
  Chapter Seven. The Case of Chubarov Alley: Collective Rape and Utopian Desire (p. 250)
    The "Facts" of the Case (p. 250)
    The Corruption of the Innocent (p. 257)
    The Corruption of the Experienced (p. 263)
    Ideological Resonance (p. 266)
  Conclusion (p. 289)
  Index (p. 301)


»Sex in Public examines the ideological poetics and the rhetoric of power in the Soviet Union during the 1920s, a period of anxiety over the historical legitimacy of Soviet ideology and Bolshevik power. Drawing on a wide range of sources--Party Congress transcripts, the classics of early Soviet literature, sex education pamphlets, the cinema, crime reports, and early Soviet ventures into popular science--the author seeks to explain the period's preoccupation with crime, disease, and, especially, sex. Using strategies of reading developed by literary scholars, he devotes special care to exploring the role of narrative in authoritative political texts. The book breaks new ground in its attention to the ideological importance of the female body during this important formative stage of Bolshevik rule.
Sex in Public provides a fundamentally new history of the New Economic Policy and offers important revisionist readings of many of the fundamental cultural products of the early Soviet period. Perhaps most important, it serves as a model for the sort of interdisciplinary work that is possible when historians take literary and ideology theory seriously and when ideology theorists seek to conform to the standards of documentary rigor traditionally demanded by historians. It thus becomes a study that can be read as both positivistic and postmodern.« (Source: Princeton University Press)


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Added: May 19, 2007 – Last updated: December 6, 2014