Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Pg. 99: Marcela Iacub's "Through the Keyhole"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Through the Keyhole: A history of sex, space and public modesty in modern France by Marcela Iacub, translated by Vinay Swamy.

About the book, from the publisher:
In 1857, a group of young people who had participated in an orgy in a private mansion were sentenced for contempt of public decency (outrage public à la pudeur) because a voyeur was able to watch them through a keyhole. For Marcela Iacub, the crux of such cases hinges on where the public ends and the private begins, and what one can reveal, and what one ought to hide.

Today, the pudeur has disappeared from the French penal code to be replaced by Sex. But, far from being an epic story of hard-won freedom, Iacub demonstrates that the transformation techniques used by the State in the last two centuries have rendered sexuality into a spectacle and have conditioned our spaces, our clothes, our comportment and even some of our mental illnesses. In so doing, Iacub offers us a politico-legal history of the gaze.
Learn more about Through the Keyhole at the Manchester University Press website.

Marcela Iacub is a Jurist and Researcher at Centre de Recherches Historiques.

Vinay Swamy is Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies at Vassar College.

The Page 99 Test: Through the Keyhole.

--Marshal Zeringue