'Sex' and 'sexuality' have acquired a specific, biological significance within the 'modern West'. This history is the central topic of this class. However, we will also challenge this narrative of 'Western modernisation'.
This course will pay attention to theoretical insights, historiographical developments, as well as specific historical case studies. Films will be used as additional material, as they make the historical construction of 'gender' and 'sexuality' more tangible. Central to the course are the work of scholars like Thomas Laqueur, Dror Wahrman, Nelly Oudshoorn, Michel Foucault, George L. Mosse, George Chauncey, Joseph Massad, Afsaneh Najmabadi and many others.
Concrete topics include the discussion on the rise of a two-sex model in the 18th century; the invention of heterosexuality in the 19th century; the 'long' sexual revolution; Orientalism, (post)colonialism and sexuality.