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Dr. Susan Sage Heinzelman, Director 2505 University Avenue, A4900, Burdine Hall 536, Austin Texas 78712 • 512-471-5765

Spring 2005


Unique Days Time Location Instructor
46195 W
6:00 PM-9:00 PM
GAR 107

Course Description

This course surveys the history of four centuries of American ideas about sex and sexuality. We will attempt to understand historical changes in conceptions of sexual desire, “normal” behavior, and sexual orientations. We will also examine the ways that sexuality has been regulated through various legal, social, and political means, and the ways it has been represented in the media. The class will challenge the notion that American history has moved from the repressive world of the Puritans to the more liberated, modern ideals of the twenty-first century. Readings are grouped chronologically, with about three weeks devoted to each century. Special attention is paid to readings that draw connections between sexuality and race, class, and gender. Requirements: Students will write and re-write a 12-page research paper during the course of the class. Texts will likely include: Beth Bailey, From Front Porch to Back Seat: Courtship in Twentieth-Century America Susan Douglas, Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media Martha Hodes, White Women, Black Men: Illicit Sex in the 19th-c. South Nancy Cott, Public Vows: A History of Marriage in America Michel Foucault, History of Sexuality, Volume I Merrill D. Smith, Sex and Sexuality in Early America Films: Extase (1932) The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944) Splendor in the Grass (1959) The Celluloid Closet (1995) Fight Club (1999) The Contender (2000)


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