HIST 331

History of Sexuality

An examination of the various and changing western attitudes towards human sexuality. While we might think that most men and women in western history have shared our own sexual beliefs, or at least those of our parents, we will discover that both the biological and the social understanding of this important human drive has been very contested over time and space. To this end, we will look at various sorts of sources: scientific and medical, philosophical, practical, theological, and literary. We will at the same time encounter some of the major trends in the historiography of sexuality, especially feminism and post-modernism, and see how these challenge our traditional understanding of the past. Offered intermittently.