Conferences/workshops

Sexology and Development: Exploring the Global History of the Sexual Sciences

Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB), Spain

4th – 6th October 2018

This international conference is jointly organised by Rethinking Sexology and Chiara Beccalossi’s Sexology, Hormones and Medical Experiments in the Latin Atlantic World project at the University of Lincoln.  Both projects are funded by the Wellcome Trust.

The conference is hosted by the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB) in Spain.

See the full conference programme here.

The conference includes a Public lecture by Susan Stryker “Bodies in Trans*formation” on Thursday 4 October 2018, Thursday 10 May 2018, 6.30 – 8.00pm. See more here.

An associated exhibition will be hosted by the CCCB from  Transitional States. See more here.

Conference delegates will be invited to the launch of video art exhibition on the evening of Thursday 4 October 2018, 8.00pm. See more here.

To register for the conference, please contact Mrs Claire Keyte on c.e.keyte@exeter.ac.uk.

Or contact the organisers for more information: CBeccalossi@lincoln.ac.uk and J.Funke@exeter.ac.uk

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Sexpertise: Sexual Knowledge and the Public in the 19th and 20th Centuries

In July 2018, the Rethinking Sexology project hosted an interdisciplinary workshop on ‘Sexpertise: Sexual Knowledge and the Public in the 19th and 20th Centuriesat the Devon and Exeter Institution. Organised by team member Dr Sarah Jones, in collaboration with Dr Hannah Charnock (University of Bristol) and Dr Ben Mechen (UCL/RHUL), the event brought together researchers from across the country to consider such themes as:

  • Forms of “popular” sexual expertise and knowledge, such as sex manuals, marriage guides, family planning and sexual health instruction, and advice columns in newspapers and magazines.
  • “Alternative” forms of sexual expertise/knowledge and the creation of sexual counterpublics, as well as the entrance of alternative forms of sexual knowledge into the cultural “mainstream”.
  • Professional or medical expertise/knowledge and its relationship with the broader public.
  • Sexual experience and subjectivity as forms of sexual expertise/knowledge.
  • The history of sexuality as itself a form of sexual knowledge/expertise aiming to shape public understandings of sex, sexuality and the sexual past.

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Workshop on Sexology and Sexuality in China

This inter-disciplinary workshop was held on 4th May at the University of Exeter. Dr Leon Rocha (University of Liverpool) presented on “Sexology in the Tabloids: The Case of Zhou Yueran (1885-1962)” and Dr Ting Guo (University of Exeter) discussed “Translation and queer feminism in China: Jihua Network and Carol (2015)”. You can find the abstracts below.

This seminar was hosted by the University of Exeter’s Centre for Medical History and the  Rethinking Sexology project, and was part of the Medical History and Humanities seminar series (details of which can be found here) Continue reading

Workshop: ‘Biological Discourses: Science, Sexuality, and the Novel around 1900’

This was a multi-disciplinary workshop held in February 2018.

Dr Charlotte Woodford (Cambridge) spoke on “Sexology and women’s sexual emancipation: Lou Andreas-Salome’s theories of female sexuality and her novella ‘Deviations’ (1898) as literary case study”

Dr Godela Weiss-Sussex (Cambridge) gave a paper on “Monism, Eugenics, and (the Limits of) Female Agency: Grete Meisel-Hess’s Novel Die Intellektuellen [The Intellectuals] (1911).”

This seminar was hosted by the University of Exeter’s Centre for Medical History and the  Rethinking Sexology project, and was part of the Medical History and Humanities seminar series (details of which can be found here).

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Seminar on ‘Scientific Respectability and Popular Disseminations of Sex Research in Interwar German Film’

In October 2017 Dr Katie Sutton (Australian National University) spoke to us on ‘Scientific Respectability and Popular Disseminations of Sex Research in Interwar German Film’.

In the socially progressive and politically tumultuous interwar period, researchers in the German-speaking lands were world leaders in the study of sex. Increasingly, sexologists such as Magnus Hirschfeld in Berlin and Eugen Steinach in Vienna were turning not only to photography as a seemingly more ‘scientific’ evidential medium than the narrative patient histories upon which they had once relied, but also the cutting-edge technologies of film.

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Workshop on late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century cultures of sexual knowledge

In 2017 we were delighted to be joined by:

Dr Amber K. Regis (English, Sheffield) who gave us the paper “‘The editor has reason to believe…’: un/finishing the Memoirs of John Addington Symonds”. 

Amber spoke on her new critical edition of John Addington Symonds’ memoirs. 

Professor Joy Dixon (History, British Columbia) spoke to us on ‘”The Gift of Sex”: Sexology, Social Purity, and the Production of Normalcy”. 

Joy is the author of Divine Feminine: Theosophy and Feminism in England

This workshop was organised in conjunction with the Sexual Knowledge unit.

Interdisciplinary Histories Conference, 13th & 14th February 2017

Interdisciplinary Histories Conference

The conference keynote speakers Dr Des Fitzgerald (Cardiff University) and Professor Felicity Callard (Durham University) spoke on “Power and Affect in Interdisciplinary Space”

The first Rethinking Sexology conference examined dynamics of interdisciplinary exchange and collaboration from a historical perspective. It asked what can be gained by exploring moments, sites and traditions of dialogue across disciplines, fields of knowledge and forms of expertise in the past. Continue reading