In this special issue, contributors trace how sexual scientific thought circulated throughout the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries and how that thought continues to shape sexuality. The authors situate the science of sex within a broader context of sexuality studies, which examines the social, psychological, and political aspects of desires, acts, identities, and sexology. Articles--addressing topics such as early gender clinics and transsexual etiology, the taxonomy of queer identities, and blackness and sexology--examine the current and historical ways in which racial science and colonial knowledge constitute sexual science as an amorphous object, one with a problematically vast reach that buttresses racial hierarchy and undergirds colonial infrastructures. The authors urge readers to explore how the taxonomies of sexual science structure identitarian frameworks of gender and sexuality.
About the editors:
Benjamin Kahan is the Robert Penn Warren Professor of English and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Louisiana State University and author of Celibacies: American Modernism and Sexual Life, also published by Duke University Press.
Greta LaFleur is Associate Professor of American Studies at Yale University and author of The Natural History of Sexuality in Early America.
Contributors: Kadji Amin, Howard Chiang, Stephanie D. Clare, Emmett Harsin Drager, Patrick R. Grzanka, Benjamin Kahan, Greta LaFleur, Rovel Sequeira, Aaron J. Stone, Zohar Weiman-Kelman, Joanna Wuest