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How have sexual practices and identities evolved, been represented and expressed from prehistory to the present? This subject will interrogate ideas about sexualities, with particular attention to developments from nineteenth century sexologists and psychoanalysis to feminism, queer theory and intersectionality. Categories of classification and identity including transgender, cisgender, heterosexuality, bisexuality and homosexuality will be examined alongside the history of political activism around sexuality. By charting a historical genealogy of sexual practices and ideas about sexual practices, the subject will show how the gendered body and sex have been simultaneously linked to social liberation and control. On completion of this subject, students should understand the ways in which sexualities have multiple histories and and that they remain highly contested in the majority of cultures.
Intended learning outcomes
Students who have completed this subject should be able to:
- demonstrate a critical understanding of the ways in which sexual practices and sexual identities are historically constructed;
- demonstrate a critical understanding of how scholars have theorised sexuality, in particular the intersections between sexuality, race, class and gender;
- use bibliographical and research skills to locate and gather primary and secondary sources; and
- reflect critically on the ways in which meanings of sexualities are historically constructed.
Last updated: 6 December 2019