Jul 14, 2024  
2013-2014 Academic Catalog 
2013-2014 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

HIS 322-01 - Sex & Sexuality in American History (Spring)

4 credits (Spring)
This seminar moves thematically across American history, from the colonial era to the present day, to explore the American sexual experience. We will identify changes, contradictions, and continuities in sexual ideals as well as the even more complicated realities of Americans’ sexual experiences. We will discuss the invention of heterosexualities, same-sex sexualities, and transgendered and transsexual bodies in American history. We also will consider the history of marriage laws, the concept of sexual citizenship, and visions of alternate sexual systems. We will look at the histories of prostitution and sex work, pornography and censorship, and sexual violence. Finally, we will explore how and why certain desires and acts were labeled “deviant” while others were touted as “normal.” The underlying premise to this course is that sex, like individuals and nations, has a history. Students will write in-depth research papers on some aspect of American sexual history.

Prerequisite: Any 100-level history course and any 200-level U.S. History course.
Instructor: Lewis