The Genetical Evolution of Social Behaviour I & II by William D. Hamilton

By William D. Hamilton

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Extra resources for The Genetical Evolution of Social Behaviour I & II

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While certain curators or spectators resisted this burgeoning use of museums as sites for performing the politics of sexual biopower, the organization of space and vision in museums depended on acquiescence, docile be­ havior, and normative feelings about sex and sexuality. ” Through the use of display techniques such as se­ lection, juxtaposition, and labeling, museums of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries authenticated emerging biopolitical narratives and used the display of objects or human bodies framed as objects to show audiences the new biopower of hierarchical sexual differences between genders, races, and classes.

In instances of explicit sexual display, museums served a pivotal function not only in presenting modern biopolitical realities but also in shaping those realities in entertaining and engag­ ing ways. When exhibits tacitly displayed sex, they aimed to show the best method for achieving satisfaction, not in the workplace, but in the intimate home and within a person’s sexual social life. In the context of the biopolitical museum, sexual hegemony took shape as production and social re­production merged through the performativity of sexual display.

In so doing, the photograph dramatized a patriarchal encounter with the dead female body that blurred the distinctions between high-­art nudes, hard-­ core pornographic photography (an emerging technology in the 1890s), and medical photography that circulated among the expert clini­ cal classes of white elite men in the name of scientific research. What are also blurred, however, are the racist origins of the speculum and the figure of the black woman as the unanesthetized test case for oc­ ular and medical technologies.

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