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Sex Panic Rhetorics, Queer Interventions, Sex Panic Rhetorics, Queer Interventions, 0817320563, 0-8173-2056-3, 978-0-8173-2056-0, 9780817320560, , Rhetoric, Culture, and Social Critique, Sex Panic Rhetorics, Queer Interventions, 0817392912, 0-8173-9291-2, 978-0-8173-9291-8, 9780817392918, , Rhetoric, Culture, and Social Critiqu

Sex Panic Rhetorics, Queer Interventions
Ian Barnard

Trade Cloth
2020. 232 pp.
Price:  $49.95 s
E Book
2020. 232 pp.
Price:  $49.95 d

Winner of the 2021 Conference on College Composition and Communication Lavender Rhetorics Award for Excellence in Queer Scholarship

Analyzes the rhetoric of contemporary sex panics to expose how homophobia, heterosexism, and transphobia define public, political, and scholarly preoccupations with sexuality and gender

In Sex Panic Rhetorics, Queer Interventions, Ian Barnard makes the counter-intuitive argument that contemporary “sex panics” are undergirded by queerphobia, even when the panics in question don’t appear to have much to do with queerness. Barnard presents six case studies that treat a wide range of sex panic rhetorics around child molesters, sex trafficking, transgenderism, incest, queer kids, and pedagogy to demonstrate this argument. By using examples from academic scholarship, political discourse, and popular culture, including the Kevin Spacey scandal and the award-winning film Moonlight, Barnard shows how homophobia and transphobia continue to pervade contemporary Western culture.
Barnard is concerned not so much with looking at the overt homophobia and transphobia that are the more obvious objects of antihomophobic and antitransphobic critique. The author’s focus, rather, is on excavating the significant traces of these panics in a neoliberal culture that has supposedly demonstrated its civility by its embrace of diversity, renunciation of its homophobic past, and attentiveness to the transgender revolution that has swept popular media and political culture in the United States and elsewhere. During a time of increasing conservative backlashes against advancing LGBTQ rights and human rights discourses in general, this book shows why it is important to attend to the liberal covers for sex panics that are not too far removed from their rhetorically conservative cousins.
Ian Barnard (they/them/their) is professor of rhetoric and composition in the English department and director of LGBTQ studies at Chapman University. They are author of Upsetting Composition Commonplaces and Queer Race: Cultural Interventions in the Racial Politics of Queer Theory.
Sex Panic Rhetorics is a provocative and engaging read, making an original and significant contribution to the fields of rhetorical studies, feminist theory, and queer studies.”
—Jeffrey A. Bennett, author of Banning Queer Blood: Rhetorics of Citizenship, Contagion, and Resistance
Sex Panic Rhetorics is timely, well conceived and orchestrated, providing fresh perspective on the ‘stubbornness of old antiqueer mindsets and practices’ manifest in the rhetorics of sex panics and their enabling (neo-) liberal discourses and ideologies, and ‘excavation of queerphobia’ at the heart of them.”
—Charles E. Morris III, coeditor of QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking

“Barnard does a good job of addressing sex panic in several different categories: child molester panic, sex trafficking panic, transgender panic, incest panic, queer kids, and pedagogy panic. The book takes on a personal and intimate stance while addressing stigmatized topics, creating an alternative space for readers to address “socially dangerous topics” in a safe and academic manner. This book will be a valuable resource for those interested in gender, sociology, psychology, and queer studies. Recommended.”

"One of the most enjoyable things about this text is how beautifully written it is. Each word is carefully selected to jump off the page and excite the reader.... The ties between sex panics (which seemingly have nothing to do with queerness) and queerphobia revealed by Sex Panic Rhetorics are intriguing and excite many new questions.... Our job as intellectuals is thus twofold: we must both defend and critique. We can align ourselves with liberalism in the face of alt right conspiracies while simultaneously recognizing that liberalism is not enough. This is what the book’s subtitle means: 'Queer interventions’ help us to envisage, identify, think through, and parse these differences and overlaps' (175). A seemingly utopic impulse to continue critiquing for a better world is found within queer. Perhaps this is really Sex Panic Rhetorics’ biggest takeaway. Never give up hope, never stop critiquing."
Quarterly Journal of Speech
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