How did people in the past express their sexuality and gender? What can a photograph from the nineteenth century, scientific data from the 1900s, a statue from the ancient world, or a novel written by someone in the 1920s tell us about sexuality and gender in the past? How did people living decades and centuries ago make sense of their own “identities”? How do people today think and speak about sexuality and gender, and how might looking to history help us to express ourselves now?
Young people joined historians, literary scholars and sexual health experts to explore objects, photos, memoirs, films and fiction, and find out more about the history of identity, gender, sexuality and science.
This session was run by researchers Dr Jen Grove, Dr Ina Linge and Dr Jana Funke, affiliated with the Rethinking Sexology and Sex & History projects.
We also asked people at the festival to contribute their ideas for creating their own “Institute of Sexology”. We asked them if they could create the perfect place for furthering our understanding of sexuality and gender, who or what would they include?