Political philosophy and sexuality (2019/2020)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Lorenzo Bernini
Lorenzo Bernini
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 1A dal Sep 23, 2019 al Oct 31, 2019.

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

Western political thought has extensively concealed sexual differences behind the principle of the alleged equality of all individuals before the law. This course provides examples of critical philosophies that, on the contrary, have interrogated the relationship between politics and sexuality from the point of view of so-called ‘sexual minorities’, and have consequently developed new interpretative frames to understand the subject, collectivity, and political action.

At the end of the course, students will have to prove that they:
- accurately know the subjects of the program,
- are able to expose them in a consequential and concise way,
- have acquired independent judgement.


Course title:
The Phallus of Caliban: Biopolitics of 'Race' and Sexual Drive

Course contents:
1. From 1900 onwards, a by now broad tradition of critical thinking has been problematizing the relationship between politics and sexuality. Firstly, the course will focus on three theoretical approaches that, each in its way, have engaged with the concepts of drive, desire and identification, developing different visions of that relationship:
- Freudomarxist theories of sexual liberation,
- social constructivist theories of sexuality and gender,
- antisocial and affective queer theories.
2. Secondly, the course will try to mediate between constructivism (Foucault) and antisocial theories (Freud) in the analysis of the monstrification of black man's sexuality made by decolonial, anti-racist, and feminist theories (Fanon and Davis).

Seminar classes, topic discussions.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Angela Davis Donne, razza e classe Alegre 2018 Soltanto i capp. 11 e 12, Stupro, razzismo e il mito dello stupratore nero, Razzismo, controllo delle nascite e diritti riproduttivi, pp. 221-277.
Michel Foucault La volontà di sapere: Storia della sessualità 1 Feltrinelli 2013
Lorenzo Bernini Le teorie queer: Un’introduzione Mimesis 2017
Frantz Fanon Pelle nera, maschere bianche Edizioni ETS 2015 Soltanto Introduzione, capp. 4-5-6 (Sul presunto complesso di dipendenza del colonizzato, L'esperienza vissuta del Nero, Il Negro e la psicopatologia) e A mo' di conclusione, pp.25-31, 87-188, 201-208).
Sigmund Freud Tre saggi sulla teoria sessuale. Al di là del principio di piacere Bollati Boringhieri 2012 Soltanto Tre saggi sulla teoria sessuale, pp. 7-130.

Assessment methods and criteria

For both attending and non-attending students: oral exam (from January to September 2020).
The students are required to bring the readings at the exam.

The evaluation will be based on:
- pertinence of the answers,
- consequentiality of the arguments,
- ability to think in a personal and independent way.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and in accordance with the University of Verona guidelines, during ​the 2020 summer session the assessment modality will be modified as follows: online oral exam.