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Sex MuseumsThe Politics and Performance of Display$
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Jennifer Tyburczy

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226315102

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226315386.001.0001

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Exhibiting the Sexual Modern

Exhibiting the Sexual Modern

(p.151) Five Exhibiting the Sexual Modern
Sex Museums

Jennifer Tyburczy

University of Chicago Press

The cultural and rhetorical influences of globalization work in multiple directions on the display of sexual cultures. This chapter focuses on the influence of popular U.S. culture and discourse on El Museo del Sexo (MuseXo) in Mexico City as the curators’ approach to museum signage allowed for an analysis of the flow of sexual ideas and objects in this direction. Taking a cue from MuseXo’s displays, the author focuses on the ways in which US-Mexico relations, specifically in the wake of the cultural exchanges facilitated by the signing of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1992, may have contributed to the new discourse of sexual identities for the practicing sexual subject in Mexico City today. The chapter critiques the circulation of global queer discourse in Mexico City to interrogate the processes by which sexual rhetorics, particularly those oriented toward homonormative versions of Western gay consciousness and the LGBT political movements of the United States, are received and appropriated. The author refers to the transnational codification of sexual identity discourse as the “sexual modern” and proposes the use of this term to refer to (homo)normative display practices that textually manifest prescriptive sets of social codes for articulating cosmopolitan queer subjectivity.

Keywords:   modernity, Mexico City, NAFTA, albur, cosmopolitan, queer, rhetoric, popular culture, globalization, homonormativity

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