[csaa-forum] Thomas Laqueur at the University of Queensland August 10

Elizabeth Stephens e.stephens at uq.edu.au
Mon Feb 12 17:41:42 CST 2007


Turning Points in the History of Sexuality

A Seminar around the Work of Thomas Laqueur


On Friday 10 August 2007, the Centre for the History of European Discourses will host a day long seminar at the University of Queensland around the work, and in the presence of, Thomas Laqueur.


The seminar will ask questions about the role of narrative in the history of sexuality. Laqueur's most recent book, Solitary Sex, raises issues of this kind in its genealogical thesis, and in the manner of its writing. Laqueur's story of onanism is a narrative history, with a clear beginning and a story of fundamental change, together with richly textured layers of erudition. Furthermore, there are reflexive elements in his text which serve to stylise the narrative, and perhaps to make it slightly ironic. In the broadest terms, it might be said that Laqueur is offering a periodisation which turns on the early eighteenth century. This brings his account closer to that of Habermas, with its emphasis on the emergence of a bourgeois public sphere in the course of the eighteenth century. Foucault's account, with its emphasis on medical and governmental technologies, tends to make the later nineteenth century the turning point.


This raises two general questions:

*	What do we gain in the history of sexuality by organising our understanding around turning points? 
*	What is at stake in the choice between Laqueur's story and Foucault's, if indeed it is a choice? 

Other participants in the seminar will present papers focussing on these issues. They will include Alexander Cook, Peter Cryle, Stephen Garton, Alison Moore, Elizabeth Stephens, and Charles Sowerwine.


For further information, please contact Peter Cryle at the following address: p.cryle at uq.edu.au  

Elizabeth Stephens
Research Fellow
Centre for the History of European Discourses
University of Queensland Australia 4072
Phone: 61 7 3346 9493
Fax: 61 7 3346 9495

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://bronzewing.cdu.edu.au/pipermail/csaa-forum/attachments/20070212/01a96966/attachment.html 

More information about the csaa-forum mailing list