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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2021-22


WGSS 62.02 A Global History of Sexual Science

This course provides an introduction to the global history of sexual science from the late 19th Century through the mid-20th Century.  The beginnings of scientific approaches to sex, gender and sexuality were very diverse and thus we will read—among others—historical medical, psychiatric, anthropological, journalistic, philosophical and literary texts.  Scientific notions of sexuality did not simply migrate from the “West” to the “rest,” but developed as a result of complex, mutually constitutive interactions and global networks.  The field of sexual science emerged not just in Europe and North America but in a variety of places, such as India, Chile, or China.  Its proponents in different parts of the world were intensely aware of each other and interacted through publications, conferences, or travel. Moreover, proponents of sexual science in Europe and North America adopted notions forged in exchange with actors in Asia, Latin America and Africa, e.g., the US practice of gender reassignment surgery was heavily influenced by earlier Mexican cases or the German legal understanding of homosexuality was tested and contested in its colonial African courts.  We will study many figures who have been forgotten in contemporary work on sexuality or sexual science.  Some of these figures drew from the repressive legal, social and cultural discourses that limited sexual expression and gave the ideological grounds to discrimination and persecution.  But others—and they were at times the very same figures—connected to the liberating discourses, the power of which we are experiencing today.

Instructor

Fuechtner

Distributive and/or World Culture

Dist:INT or SOC; WCult:NW

The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.