On Bodies and Nationhood: Sexual Identities in the Context of a Global Spectacle (Brazilian Studies Association Conference ) (2018)


Based on interview data collected from women involved in sexual commerce in Rio de Janeiro, this paper will examine the manner in which women involved in sexual commerce resource bodies in the performance of national identities. The discussion of bodies—whether their own or that of clientele—will be connected to broader cultural identities (re)packaged for an international audience. Due to the fact that data collection occurred in the midst of an internationally-recognized sport mega-event, we contextualize this research, and the attendant discussion of performative bodies, in relation to the most recent effort to (re)present Rio de Janeiro for the (watching) world: the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. The stories of women involved in sexual commerce detail the manner in which nation-state is discursively-constructed in an intimate encounter with the Other and viscerally-represented in event-themed strategies of beautification/representation. This research will add to a literature interested in the linkage between fantasies of passion and patriotism, and the extent to which these intersect to inform the production-consumption of (trans)national identities

Conference website: http://www.brasa.org/brasa-xiii-call-for-proposals.

Citation: Brêtas, T. & De Lisio, A. (July 2018). “On Bodies and Nationhood: Sexual Identities in the Context of a Global Spectacle” to be presented on “(Re)Presenting, Embodying & Consuming Rio de Janeiro: Narratives of Nation and the 2016 Olympic Games” panel organized for the Brazilian Studies Association Conference (BRASA) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.