Fierce Desires: A New History of Sex and Sexuality in America

Lecture Description

In this talk based on her book, the first single-volume history of sexuality in American in over three decades, Davis explores how debates over the meaning and importance of sexuality have shaped American life from the 1600s to the present. It spans four hundred years of history, from two-spirit people among the Pueblo Indians in the seventeenth century to the gay rights activist Kiyoshi Kuromiya in the twentieth. At every step is the existence of gender nonconformity, queer love, and abortion–facts of sexual life deemed by the Right to be very recent inventions. At the same time, Davis argues that Americans shifted from understanding sexual behaviors as meaningful but secondary reflections of otherwise nonsexual personal qualities to understanding sexuality as a fundamental aspect of the human condition, essential to what makes a person who they are.

CATEGORIES

LGBTQ+ Sexuality

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