The word “exotic” can take on various different meanings and connotations, depending on how it is used. It can serve as an adjective or a noun, to describe a commodity, a person, or even a human activity. No matter its usage, however, the underlying perception is that is refers to something foreign or unknown, a function which can vary greatly in unison with other words, from enriching the luxury status of commodities, to fully sexualizing a literary work of psychology and anthropology, such as the Kamasutra.
In this episode of the Oxford Comment, we sat down with Eleanor Maier, Senior Editor at the Oxford English Dictionary, Giorgio Riello, co-author of Luxury: A Rich History, Wendy Doniger, author of Redeeimg the Kamasutra, Jessica Berson, author of The Naked Result: How Exotic Dance Became Big Business, and Rachel Kuo, contributing writer at everydayfeminism.com, to learn more about the history and usage of the word.
Featured image credit: Passion flower by PixelAnarchy. CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay.