In July 2018, the Rethinking Sexology project hosted an interdisciplinary workshop on ‘Sexpertise: Sexual Knowledge and the Public in the 19th and 20th Centuries’ at 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.
This inter-disciplinary workshop was held on 4th May 2018 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
In March 2018 two of our project postdocs Jen Grove and Ina Linge organised a workshop at the University of Exeter to bring together colleagues from the UK and Germany to share knowledge and experiences of working on projects with young people in the area of sex, sexuality, gender, education, health, and involving museums, collections and exhibitions. The workshop was co-hosted by the Rethinking Sexology project and the Sex and History project.
This workshop, run as a joint endeavour between the Rethinking Sexology project and Exeter’s Sexual Knowledge Unit, explores the history of sex advice in the modern world. It features papers from Dr Ben Mechen (UCL), Dr Caroline Rusterholz (Birkbeck), and Linnea Tillema (QMUL/Uppsala).
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.
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.
In April 2017 our project directors Kate Fisher and Jana Funke travelled to Australia to contribute to a workshop “Medical Humanities: The Research-Teaching Nexus” with colleagues at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH), University of Queensland.
See more details here
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