Talk of sex is all around us, and yet the topic seems taboo in American society. Debates rage in the medical, political, legal, religious, and educational realms over how, when, and where the discussion of and practice of sex can take place. The consensus of that discussion, even if you closed or currently close your ears to the banter will directly impact you.
This class explores the history, literature, scholarship, and philosophy of regulating and promoting sex acts. In his seminal work on human sexuality, the French philosopher Michele Foucault suggests that much of the regulation of sexuality in the Middle Ages and early modern period had little to do with the desires of the people having sex and much to do with the desires of the people adjudicating sexual behavior. So what does our consumption of texts about sex tell us about who we are and what we desire as individuals and as a culture? The course examines how people have consumed texts—among them: novels, plays, films, artworks, poems, and songs—about sex, both celebrated and forbidden, and how they have responded to those works.
LS752.601 will meet during the second part of the Summer 2015 term.
Interested in learning about other courses offered? Check out all the courses currently being offered this Summer and those planned for Fall 2015, or contact us to learn more about the Liberal Studies program.
Assistant Director of Recruitment
Dr. Randall Donaldson