Productive bodies in eastern European Marxism
in De-centering queer theory
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In Chapter 2, I look at early Soviet Marxism as an epistemological framework that produced a productivist understanding of bodies and sexual attraction. Communist figures in socialism were neither individual territories of freedom, nor subjectivities who fought against the conformism of an established ideology. Marxist films present a productivist body that is not individualistic, but the unfinished product of a dialectical process to achieve communism. To begin the process of analyzing the erasure of eastern European Marxism, I explore the gradual disappearance of the productivist Soviet body during “the thaw,” with a focus on socialist Romania. While, in the 1950s, Romanian socialism followed a Soviet politics of sexuality, I show that during the 1960s Romanian socialism reflected a western European trend to naturalize conservative norms about marriage and abortion. I analyze the 1964 Romanian film The District of Gaiety and argue that conservative tropes of sexuality altered the project of Marxist sexuality

De-centering queer theory

Communist sexuality in the flow during and after the Cold War

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