Faculty/grad Colloquium: “After Sedgwick: The Gordian Knot of the Great Paradigm Shift” | Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies
University of Pittsburgh
Events

Faculty/grad Colloquium: “After Sedgwick: The Gordian Knot of the Great Paradigm Shift”

October 31, 2017 - 12:30pm - 2:00pm
Speaker/Participants: 
Benjamin Kahan (Louisiana SU), Humanities Center Visiting Short-Term Fellow

Open to all faculty and graduate students. 

Colloquium: “After Sedgwick: The Gordian Knot of the Great Paradigm Shift”

My precirculated paper, “After Sedgwick: The Gordian Knot of the Great Paradigm Shift,” attempts to work through two fundamental impasses in the historiography of sexuality: 1. Does the invention of (male) sexuality (what Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick calls the Great Paradigm Shift) occur as one group of eighteenth-century scholars contends with the advent of the molly or with the sexological figure of the homosexual as another group of scholars proposes? 2. Scholars of sexuality working with more contemporary materials have assembled a vast scholarship on the role that race (Marlon Ross, Siobhan Somerville), class (Michael Trask, Margot Canaday), and gender (George Chauncey, Barry Reay) play in the construction of sexual object-choice. However, there is no synthesis or mapping of the relations between these works. I argue that an etiological approach to the history of sexuality will help us to navigate the problem space of these impasses in new ways. 

Benjamin Kahan is an Associate Professor of English and Women’s and Gender Studies at Louisiana State University. He has held postdoctoral fellowships at Washington University in St. Louis, Emory University, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Sydney, the National Humanities Center, and the Reed Foundation. He is the author of Celibacies: American Modernism and Sexual Life (Duke, 2013) and the editor of Heinrich Kaan’s “Psychopathia Sexualis” (1844): A Classic Text in the History of Sexuality (Cornell, 2016). His book Sexual Etiologies and the Great Paradigm Shift is currently under advance contract with University of Chicago Press.

Copyright 2014 | Site by Communications Services