Sexualities in History

Tutor: Joanna de Groot

Module type: Comparative Histories

Module Code: HIS00014H

This module takes a comparative approach to histories of one of the most important aspects of human experience – sexuality; this notion embraces the activities, desires, rules, relationships, moral concerns, bodily attributes, or fantasies associated with the sexual areas of people’s lives. We will explore the notion of ‘sexualities’ thematically, using ancient, modern, medieval, and early modern material from different parts of the world. We will compare and contrast medical, religious, governmental and cultural approaches to sexual activities, desires, and relationships in order to analyse patterns, variations, and themes which might help historians to understand past sexualities.

Seminar topics are likely to include the following:

  • Concepts of Sexuality
  • Sexual Norms and Alternatives
  • Sexualities, Knowledge, and Expertise
  • Sexualities, Courtship, Marriage
  • Sexualities, Commerce, and Power
  • Sexualities, Bodies, Health and Disease
  • Regulating Sexualities
  • Sexualities and Cultural Production
  • Results and Prospects