Associate Professor of Sociology Yvonne Zylan is the author of a new book, States of Passion: Law, Identity, and Social Construction of Desire (Oxford University Press, March, 2011).
According to the publisher’s website, “In States of Passion: Law, Identity and the Social Construction of Desire, Professor Yvonne Zylan explores the role of legal discourse in shaping sexual experience, sexual expression, and sexual identity. The book focuses on three topics: anti-gay hate crime laws, same-sex sexual harassment, and same-sex marriage, examining how sexuality is socially constructed through the institutionally-specific production of legal discourse.
“States of Passion argues that law's power to authorize specific discourses and practices of love, desire, hatred, fear, and vulnerability remain grounded in the powerful discourses and institutional practices that mark law as dispassionate, cerebral, and fundamentally procedural. States of Passion contends that those states of passion we experience in our daily lives as particularly significant-to our sense of self, to our collective and social identities, and to our ideas about the body and its dictates-increasingly have as much to do with the state as they do with passion.”
Zylan earned a bachelor's degree in East Asian Studies from Yale University, a Ph.D. in sociology from New York University and a juris doctor from the University of San Diego School of Law. Her areas of scholarship include law and society, sexuality, social theory, political sociology, and the state and social policy. Zylan's current work is centrally concerned with feminist theory and praxis, and addresses the social construction of sex, gender, and the body in and through legal discourse. Prior to joining the Hamilton faculty, she practiced law for three years in the litigation department at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.