History of Sexuality in the U.S.

GWS 387
History of Sexuality in the U.S.

Explores a wide variety of sources to understand how notions of sexuality have emerged and been contested at key moments in U.S. history. Our guiding questions include: How have "official" or governing discourses of sexuality (in law, medicine, religions, science) been formulated? In turn, how have "ordinary" people understood and practiced their sexuality? How has the meaning of particular sexual practices changed over time? How have ideas about race, gender, and/or class been embedded within the discourse of sexuality at different moments in U.S. history? What methods of reading and interpretation are most useful for the historical study of sexuality? Also emphasizes skills such as critically analyzing primary sources within their historical context; interpreting different types of primary sources; locating, understanding, and evaluating scholarly secondary sources; and presenting historical arguments, based on both primary and secondary sources.