HIST 332: Sex in History

Instructor: Christopher Forth

Day & Time:

KU Core Goal: 4.2
Category Fulfillment: I/II

an painting of a man shushing the viewer like they're keeping a secret

Sex in History

This course surveys the history of human sexuality in the Western world from antiquity to the present. Topics for consideration may include: masturbation, pornography, sex work, homosexuality, bisexuality, “perversions” (paraphilias), sex and marriage, racialized sexualities, sexual violence, trans* identities and experiences, sexuality and national identities, and colonialized sexualities. The course demonstrates the various ways in which sex, specifically the social and political meanings attributed to physical acts, changes over time and shapes human experiences and relations well beyond the bedroom.

HIST 332 is an interdisciplinary history course that employs tools from sociology, philosophy, and gender studies. Critical thinking, careful reading, informed reflection, and methodological empathy are all skills that will be developed, along with the ability to entertain different points of view and discuss them in a civil manner. Although each week will feature two lectures, discussion is strongly encouraged. Coursework includes one response essay, online discussions, and a guided research project.