A BRIEF HISTORY OF EROTOHISTORIOGRAPHY
October 28, Thursday
7 to 8:30 pm
Elizabeth Freeman, English, UC Davis
Proposing the body as site of historical encounter–in and across time—Elizabeth Freeman traces a history of carnal historiographical practices that she calls “erotohistoriography.” Within this paradigm, it is possible to imagine historical consciousness in terms of pleasure. From medieval relic worship through Romantic-era sympathetic historiography through a re-evaluation of Modernist “shock,” Freeman examines the discredited and disavowed role of enjoyable physical sensation, even sexual pleasure, involved in specific methods of accounting for the past. These methods revise not only the progressive and developmental models of time that have dominated history as a discipline, but also the Marxist tendency to assume that painful oppression is the only motor of collective action toward change. In this sense, erotohistoriography names the possibility not only of doing history otherwise, but of imagining futurity as the outcome of sex practices and body performances unhinged from the reproductive imperative.
Department of Social & Cultural Analysis
20 Cooper Square, 4th Floor
Elizabeth Freeman is Professor of English at the University of California, Davis. She is the author of numerous journal articles and of the books The Wedding Complex: Forms of Belonging in Modern American Culture (Duke UP, 2002) and Time Binds: Queer Temporalities, Queer Histories (forthcoming from Duke UP in fall 2010).
This event is free and open to the public. Venue is wheelchair accessible. If you need sign language interpretation services or other accommodations, please let us know as soon as possible.
For more information, please call 212-992-9540 or email csgs(at)nyu.edu.