HIST 501S: History of Sexuality

SYNOPSIS: This seminar connects queer theory to the history of sexuality with a particular focus on the manner in which such a theoretical formulation interacts with histories of race and colonialism. We will ponder three essential questions:

  1. what is queer about queer history?
  2. how does the history of sexuality intersect with racial formation?
  3. how do sexuality and colonialism relate to each other?

In order to grapple with these questions, we will read both classical and recent texts in the history of sexuality, alongside various readings in queer theory and related theoretical questions.

READER REQUIREMENTS: The assignment is a scholarly research paper in the history of sexuality with links to race, class, colonialism, and queer theory. Readers should be professionally interested in the subject matter, they can be either experts in the field of the course or professionally invested non-experts with an academic background.

WRITING ASSIGNMENTS: Students write a scholarly research paper about 15-30 pages in length that deals with a topic of their choosing related to the history of sexuality, or a research paper based on primary source research, that may be publishable in an academic journal.

INSTRUCTOR SUGGESTIONS FOR READERS: The paper should be well researched, clearly positioned and argued, interesting, innovative, and singular in scope and positioning. The argumentation needs to be sound and concise, structural flow logical, and the paper should be overall interesting.

IMPORTANT DATES:Students meet with instructor no later than 5. February to discuss the topic of the final paper. Students must turn in a preliminary bibliography no later than 1. March. The final paper is due on 1. May.


INTRODUCTORY MEETING: Please schedule your introductory meeting as soon as possible after you have received the matching email. Find details for the introductory meeting http://dukereaderproject.org/students/intro-meeting/