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The Secret History of Subversion: Sex, Modernity, and the Brazilian National Security State

A talk by UCLA Ph.D Candidate Benjamin Cowan.

Monday, May 17, 2010
4:00 PM
Bunche Hall 10367
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Benjamin Cowan, Ph.D candidate from the UCLA Department of Political Science will make an informail presentation about his dissertation titled, "The Secret History of Subversion: Sex, Modernity, and the Brazilian National Security State".

Sex, war, revolution, and the classroom; a heady combination under any circumstances, this cluster of issues had particularly explosive salience in the polarized worldview of Brazil’s late-1960s military rulers. This project draws on the military’s declassified records to argue that support for dictatorship and for repression coalesced around the notion of Cold War as culture war. This war took on quotidian reality in the 1960s and 1970s, as right-wing ideologues perceived evil walking abroad, and a world descending into moral chaos. With increasing influence, countersubversives envisioned their enemies primarily as a moral and cultural threat, visibly operationalized in such frightening modernisms as counterculture, popular music, and above all sexual unconventionality. Renovating the moral conservatisms of earlier decades and sensing a tangible, domestic Marxist conspiracy, authoritarian anticommunism in Brazil defined its subversive foes largely via moralism and moral panic, linking sexual to political revolution, cultural unconventionality to communism, and reactionism to repression.


Cost : Free and open to the public


Download file: secrethistoryflyer.pdf

Sponsor(s): Latin American Institute, Center for Brazilian Studies

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