If sexology—the science of sex—came into being sometime in the 19th century, then how did statesmen, scientists, and everyday people make meaning out of sex before that point? In this talk, Greta LaFleur, assistant professor of American studies at Yale University, explores how 18th-century natural history—the study of organic life in its environment—actually provided the intellectual foundations for the later development of the scientific study of sex. LaFleur’s research and teaching focus on early North American literary and cultural studies, the history of science, the history of race, the history and historiography of sexuality, and queer studies. Sponsored by the Center for the Arts and Humanities.
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