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Journal of Urban History

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Drawing on Elizabeth Grosz’s and Doreen Massey’s insights that place and gender are mutually constitutive, this article examines the articulation among the embodied city, sexual desire, and changing gender norms in the wake of the Mexican Revolution. At this time, a newly governing revolutionary elite sought to reinvigorate and “civilize” Mexico City through a series of urban reforms and public works, partly in response to their concern over women in public as a social problem. By analyzing depictions of female nudity as conversant with urban landscapes in the banned magazine Vea, the author argues that pornography connected Mexico City to transnational ideas of the early twentieth century that held that sexually liberated women were part and parcel of cosmopolitan modernity. Vea exemplified and fueled concerns over “public women” and helps scholars understand larger debates on the gendered effects of revolution, urbanization, and transnational currents of global modernity.


This is a post-print version of this article. The version of record is available at Sage Journals.