Northwestern Events Calendar


Allison Davis Lecture: Adrienne D. Davis: Irregular Intimacies and the Sexual Politics of Democracy: A Racial Genealogy

When: Monday, October 16, 2017
4:30 PM - 6:30 PM Central

Where: McCormick Foundation Center, Auditorium, 1870 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Elizabeth Foster   (847) 467-2981

Group: Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences

Category: Lectures & Meetings


Irregular Intimacies and the Sexual Politics of Democracy: A Racial Genealogy

Although courts have now settled the issue of marriage equality between same sex couples, intimate practices that depart from the norm continue to pose regulatory and cultural conflicts. Examples of such irregular intimacies include polygamy, prostitution, and pet inheritance. This lecture takes up these examples as more than quixotic irregularities. Rather, it approaches them through the lens of what it characterizes as the original irregular intimacy—slavery and its shadow families. This racialized lens excavates slavery’s sexual political economies, demonstrating how their norms, if not their rules, remain at work in shaping what we might think of as the sexual politics of democracy and the possibility of good intimate citizenship. 


Adrienne D. Davis, Vice Provost, William M. Van Cleve Professor of Law Washington University in St. Louis

Professor Adrienne Davis serves as Vice Provost and William M. Van Cleve Professor of Law at Washington University in St. Louis. She is renowned for her scholarship and teaching on gender and race relations; theories of justice and reparations; feminist legal theory; and law and popular culture. She has written extensively on the gendered and private law dimensions of American slavery and is the co-editor of the book, Privilege Revealed: How Invisible Preference Undermines America (NYU Press). A Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians, Professor Davis directs the Black Sexual Economies Project at the law school’s Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Work and Social Capital and is founder and director of the Law & Culture Initiative.

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