October 23, 2009
8:30 AM to 6 PM
4th floor of Alexander Library
169 College Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Until recently we’ve thought of the modern sex/gender system and homosexual identity as socio-intellectual developments of the later nineteenth century. But over the past three decades, evidence and arguments have accumulated to suggest that the categories of oppositional gender difference and male same-sex identity coalesced much earlier than that–during the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.
Specialized historical research has pursued different aspects of the topic in disparate directions. The time has come to consolidate this research in a conference that brings together four of the most important scholars in the field and an informed audience (there will be ample time for discussion) to conceive, debate, and test a hypothesis of the first importance for early modern historians and the history of sexuality.
Thomas W. Laqueur (University of California-Berkeley):
“Sex, Gender, and the Enlightenment Project”
Laura Gowing (King’s College, London):
“Women, Bodies, and Sex in the Seventeenth-Century World.”
Tim Hitchcock (University of Hertfordshire):
“Sexual Knowledge and Sexual Behavior in the Eighteenth Century.”
Randolph Trumbach (Baruch College and the Graduate Center, City University of NY):
“The Emergence of the Modern Homosexual Minority in Enlightenment Europe and the Production of a Heterosexual Majority, 1700-1750.”