Intimate States: Gender, Sexuality, and Governance in Modern US History (Hardcover)

Intimate States: Gender, Sexuality, and Governance in Modern US History By Margot Canaday (Editor), Nancy F. Cott (Editor), Robert O. Self (Editor) Cover Image
By Margot Canaday (Editor), Nancy F. Cott (Editor), Robert O. Self (Editor)
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Description


Fourteen essays examine the unexpected relationships between government power and intimate life in the last 150 years of United States history.
 
The last few decades have seen a surge of historical scholarship that analyzes state power and expands our understanding of governmental authority and the ways we experience it. At the same time, studies of the history of intimate life—marriage, sexuality, child-rearing, and family—also have blossomed. Yet these two literatures have not been considered together in a sustained way. This book, edited and introduced by three preeminent American historians, aims to close this gap, offering powerful analyses of the relationship between state power and intimate experience in the United States from the Civil War to the present.

The fourteen essays that make up Intimate States argue that “intimate governance”—the binding of private daily experience to the apparatus of the state—should be central to our understanding of modern American history. Our personal experiences have been controlled and arranged by the state in ways we often don’t even see, the authors and editors argue; correspondingly, contemporary government has been profoundly shaped by its approaches and responses to the contours of intimate life, and its power has become so deeply embedded into daily social life that it is largely indistinguishable from society itself. Intimate States makes a persuasive case that the state is always with us, even in our most seemingly private moments.

About the Author


Margot Canaday is professor of history at Princeton University.

Nancy F. Cott is the Jonathan Trumbull Research Professor of American History at Harvard University.

Robert O. Self is the Mary Ann Lippitt Professor of American History at Brown University.

Praise For…


"Contributors to Canaday, Cott, and Self’s volume offer analyses of the relationship between state power and intimate experience in the United States from the Civil War to the present. They argue that 'intimate governance'—the binding of private daily experience to the apparatus of the state—should be central to our understanding of modern US history. They conclude that our personal experiences have been controlled and arranged by the state in ways that we often do not even see and that the state is always with us, even in our most seemingly private moments."
— Law & Social Inquiry

"This 14-essay volume speaks volumes about today’s issues. . . . In examining the complicated vectors of intimate governance, the contributors argue that state power revolves around two central social and economic problems: the increasing slippage of sexuality and sexual relations beyond the boundaries of the private household and the struggle of households to remain economically viable without state aid."
— Resources for Gender and Women's Studies

Intimate States is a stunning achievement, challenging conventional thinking that sharply divides public from private; sex and gender from politics; identity from material concerns. In its breadth and depth, originality, and cohesiveness, Intimate States also manages to avoid the usual pitfalls of edited volumes; while far-ranging, it offers a single and coherent argument of profound importance.”
— Deborah Dinner, Emory University

“A pioneering work that puts the history of the American state into direct and sophisticated conversation with the history of gender and sexuality. Brilliantly conceived and executed, Intimate States compels us to deconstruct the categories of private and public, to theorize in new ways about the realm of the intimate, and to rethink the sources and sway of government power. This collection will profoundly shape future studies of the American state.”
— Gary Gerstle, University of Cambridge

“Canaday, Cott, and Self have not only succeeded in brilliantly underscoring the importance of studying intimacy and state power anew—they have also curated a distinct collection of essays that decisively answers this charge.”
— Kali Gross, Emory University
Product Details
ISBN: 9780226794617
ISBN-10: 022679461X
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication Date: September 6th, 2021
Pages: 360