In "Dangerous Desire," Pamela Barnett explores the jarring, frequent juxtaposition of sexual freedom and rape in American literature of and about the 1960s. Why were the social promises figured by sexual freedom in these texts consistently foreclosed by rape?
Barnett argues that this literary phenomenon reflected tensions central to the historical moment. Through a cultural studies analysis of key texts including "Soul on Ice," "Against Our Will," "The Women's Room," "The Women of Brewster Place," "Meridian," and "Deliverance, " Barnett demonstrates how rape has been employed as a backlash against the very movements of "dangerous desire" that inspired these literary accounts--feminism, civil rights, black nationalism, and gay liberation.
Provocative and courageous, "Dangerous Desire" dares to raise critical questions about the politics of desire, gender, race, and sexuality in this watershed era.