Eroticizing Bloodlust: The Ongoing Legacies of Sexual Prohibition Laws

Marlon Ross

Columbia University

Thursday, November 9, 2023 5:00 pm EST

411 Fayerweather Hall
1180 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10027

When the first Africans landed at Fort Comfort in 1619, some of the Angolans evidently married their Native American and English counterparts. Using this confounding situation of intermixture upon the 1619 landing as a departure point and foil, as well as Thomas Jefferson’s Enlightenment rationale against miscegenation as a pivot, this paper considers the emergence, entanglement, and ongoing impact of moral, social, and legal codes against miscegenation, sodomy, incest, and bestiality. What is the cultural logic that historically has bound together these laws, and what might this logic tell us about the current cultural warfare over LGBTQIA+ inclusion and rights?
Marlon Ross is Professor of English and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Virginia. He is the author of Sissy Insurgencies: A Racial Anatomy of Unfit Manliness, Manning the Race: Reforming Black Men in the Jim Crow Era, and The Contours of Masculine Desire.