Until the 1970s the history of sexuality was a marginalized practice. Today it is a flourishing field, increasingly integrated into the mainstream and producing innovative insights into the ways in which societies shape and are shaped by sexual values, norms, identities and desires. In this book, Jeffrey Weeks, one of the leading international scholars in the subject, sets out clearly and concisely how sexual history has developed, and its implications for our understanding of the ways we live today.
The emergence of a new wave of feminism and lesbian and gay activism in the 1970s transformed the subject, heavily influenced by new trends in social and cultural history, radical sociological insights and the impact of Michel Foucault s work. The result was an increasing emphasis on the historical shaping of sexuality, and on the existence of many different sexual meanings and cultures on a global scale. With chapters on, amongst others, lesbian, gay and queer history, feminist sexual history, the mainstreaming of sexual history, and the globalization of sexual history, What is Sexual History? is an indispensable guide to these developments.
Jeffrey Weeks is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at London South Bank University.
ContentsPreface and AcknowledgementsAn IntroductionWhat is a History of Sexuality a History of?NarrativesSummary of BookChapter 1: Framing Sexual HistoryTowards a Critical Sexual HistoryTheoretical DetoursBodiesSubjectivities and AffectGenerationsTimes Present, Times Past, Times FutureChapter 2: The Invention of Sexual HistoryThe Magic of WordsThe Natural History of SexualityThe New HistoryThe Emergence of Social ConstructionismChapter 3: Querying and Queering Same-sex HistoryWhat is Homosexual History?Recovering the Gay and Lesbian Past, and Historic PresentDeconstructing and Reconstructing the HomosexualThe Queer ChallengeBeyond the BinaryMaking ConnectionsChapter 4: Gender, Sexuality and PowerDangers and PleasuresSexual Violence and Sexual HistoryHistoricizing Female SexualitySexuality and the Theory WarsRethinking PowerIntersectionsOn Manliness, Masculinity, and MenChapter 5: Mainstreaming Sexual HistoryInto the MainstreamThe Birth of Modern Sexuality?The Normalization of HeterosexualityThe Great TransitionAIDS and the Burdens of HistorySame-sex Marriage and New Patterns of IntimacyChapter 6: The Globalization of Sexual HistoryGlobalizing Sexual HistoryHistorians and Transnational Sexual HistoryPatterns of Sexual HistoryThe Colonial Legacy and the Postcolonial CritiqueSexual Regimes, Sexual LivesHistory and Human Sexual RightsChapter 7: Memory, Community, VoiceUnofficial Knowledges and Counter-historyMemory and CommunityThe Sexual ArchiveVoiceLiving Sexual HistorySuggestions for Further ReadingNotesIndex