Sex after NAFTA: Queer Flows and the Erotic Investments of Free Trade


ACLS Fellowship Program


Feminist Studies


“Sex after NAFTA” traces the influence of free trade policies and ideologies to uncover how sexual objects and values circulate and inform sexual economies in the Americas. Specifically, the project examines the intersection of sex, culture, and free trade, foregrounding four cases studies culled from seven years of conducting trinational archival research, participant observation, in-depth interviews, community-based participatory research, and visual and performance analysis. Taking sexual cultural production as its entry point, “Sex after NAFTA” maps border convergences that link free trade, obscenity laws, sexual discourse, and their interventions to theorize what the study calls queer flows, or those dynamic, uncounted, and at the same time heavily disciplined networks of late capitalism’s indigestible objects. In promoting an understanding of sex as materially and structurally grounded, “Sex after NAFTA” troubles the divide between ideology and practice to reveal how decisions made in presidential boardrooms and challenged on the streets can shape our most intimate lives.