In this book, one of the most accomplished and thoughtful cultural commentators of the day, considers the contradictory nature of cultural relations. Elizabeth Wilson explores these themes through an examination of fashion, feminism, consumer culture, representation and postmodernism. Debates within feminism on the nature and effects of pornography are used to illustrate a particular kind of cultural contradiction. Wilson recognizes that postmodernism permitted the reappropriation of subjects that were not previously considered worthy of attention, or opposed to the idea of emancipation, chief among these was fashion. She shows that the association of an interest in this culturally significant subject with a revisionist project raises doubt

Notes on the Erotic City

Notes on the erotic city

When I saw the title of Beatriz Colomina's edited collection of essays, Sexuality and Space, I imagined that its subject-matter would be sex in public and private places. There would, perhaps, be papers on gay male ‘cottaging’, on museums as pick-up grounds for intellectual singles, on the rooms and back streets used by sex workers, on brothels, on the public park as a site of sexual congress and on the underground system as promoting ‘perversion’ (‘frotteurism’ in the rush hour). Instead, its subject-matter turned out to be gender – rather than sex – and space. It explored familiar territory: the exclusion of women from public space and their confinement within the domestic interior. Its purpose was ...

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