Leticia’s work is concerned with the psychosocial formation of sexual imaginaries, and changing notions of gender and subjectivity within political and cultural realms. Her research falls into three broad areas: contemporary representations and translations of sexual ideals of freedom, processes of sexual democratisation (with a focus on Latin America), and Judith Butler’s work on subject formations. Over the past ten years, she has written on issues of sexual diversity and the politics of recognition, sex work, transnational sexual politics, performativity, visual culture, and processes of cultural translation.
Her first two books, published in Spanish, took as a point of departure the process of sexual democratisation in post-dictatorial Argentina. The Norms of Desire: Sexual Imaginary and Communications (2009), employed the performative theory of gender and subject formation to show how media worked together with the law to recreate a new imaginary of citizenship and the public sphere. Sexual Borders: Urban Space, Bodies and Citizenship (2011) expanded on this perspective to explore different mechanisms of regulation that were central to the re-making of sexual citizenship, pointing to the neoliberal trends that demarcated the sexual democratic turn. Cátedra and Paidós, two leading Spanish-language academic international publishers, published both books respectively.
Parallel to this project, she also co-edited a book on the Spanish reception of Judith Butler’s perspective on performativity (Judith Butler in Dispute: Readings on Performativity, co-edited with P. Soley-Beltrán, 2012, in Spanish). The book exposes the variety of meanings that Butler’s theory might assume when navigating different geo-cultural and political contexts. In so doing, the book decentres common assumptions about the value of Butler’s intervention in the field of gender theory.
More recently, her work has focused on a critical examination of the ‘sexual rights-bearing subject,’ a contemporary political figure derived from hegemonic forms of liberalism within transnational discourses of citizenship and identity politics. She has published a number of articles and book chapters particularly concerned with the expansion and further development of the paradigm of sexual citizenship on a global scale, posing a set of critical questions on the translation of gender and sexual freedom ideals into rights-claims.
Her most recent book, The Political Imaginary of Sexual Freedom (Palgrave, 2016) develops both a performative and relational approach to the gendered and sexualised body conceived as distinct from the more limited individualistic idea of sexual identity and orientation, an idea that is at play within notions of progress (increased emancipation, the steady extension of rights) in contemporary transnational sexual politics. The analysis draws on cultural texts from film, literature, and the visual arts as well as “glocal” public discourses and theoretical debates, to offer a notion of subjective embodiment that is radically relational and psychically divided, and that implies a different conception of democratic sexual politics for our time.
Following from this investigation, her current work continues tracking nonconforming imaginaries of embodiment in counter-hegemonic cultural practices, including alternative uses of media and art projects, collectives and artists.
In line with this work, Leticia has also co-edited a volume on Vulnerability and Resistance together with Professors Judith Butler (UC, Berkeley) and Zeynep Gambetti (Bogazici University, Istanbul), published by Duke University Press, 2016.