Over the past twenty years, historians have overturned nearly everything we once took for granted about human sexuality. Gender, sexual orientation, "deviance," and even the biology of sex have been unmasked for what they are-historically specific, culturally contested, and above all, unstable constructions.
"Sexualities in History" unites a sprawling body of scholarship into the first multidisciplinary collection of key readings on the history of western sexuality. Bringing together landmark work by Robert Darnton, George Chauncey, John D'Emilio, Estelle Freedman and others, this anthology offers a wide breadth of topics like ancient sexualities, sex and Christianity, the construction of the body, reproduction and marriage, sex in colonial contexts, the impact of AIDS, postmodern sexual transgressions, and the discourse of pornography.
A sustained, insightful exploration of sex as a social, cultural, and historical construct, this is an indispensable resource for students going beyond the surface of human sexuality.
""Sexualities in History's brilliant chapters reveal that assumptions about sex are always provisional though no less consequential or far-reaching for that reason. Looking back in time and across at other cultures, this important volume successfully controverts, hopefully once and for all, the inane notion that sexuality is a narrow site of inquiry."
-Jennifer Terry, author of "An American Obsession
"Sex is, perhaps, the least interesting aspect of the history of sexuality. As this collection makes clear, sexual behaviors and mentalities are embedded in systems of power and that connection provides the common thread which Barry Reay and Kim Phillips have used to draw together a diverse and suggestive collection of writings."
-David Levine, author of "At the Dawn of Modernity
"From the Olympian heights of senior scholars on antiquity and the enlightenment to the brilliant interventions of junior scholars on pop culture, from well-known essays on Foucault and pornography to new works on everything from transvestite prostitutes in the 14th century England to gendered identities in cyberspace, "Sexualities in History is rich and catholic enough to seduce both the general reader and the lucky student who is assigned it in a course."
-Thomas Laqueur, author of "Making Sex
"Phillips and Reay present a splendid collection of essays that moves from antiquity to cyberspace. This is an essential volume for anyone interested in understanding the contexts and complexities of human sexualities."
-Jacqueline Murray, co-editor of "Desire and Discipline
"Sex is, perhaps, the least interesting aspect of the history of sexuality. As this collection makes clear, sexualbehaviors and mentalities are embedded in systems of power and that connection provides the common thread which Barry Reay and Kim Phillips have used to draw together a diverse and suggestive collection of writings. Sexualities in History provides a marvelous introduction to a subject that is as strangely complex as we are."
-David Levine, OISE/University of Toronto