Historicism, History, and Theory: A History of Method for the History of Sexuality

Sunday, January 5, 2020: 3:30 PM
Regent Room (New York Hilton)
Greta LaFleur, Yale University
This paper will offer a brief account of the genealogy of methods in the interdisciplinary study of the history of sexuality, focusing on its earliest articulations in “gay theory” and highly politicized accounts of homosexual inclusion (e.g. John Boswell’s 1980 Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality) and moving through the emergence of queer theory, queer historiography, historicism, and what might be termed a new recovery scholarship movement (2000s). The paper will situate the emergence and rise to dominance of each of these methods within the context of the changing status and politicization of the humanities, and point to other methods—recovery scholarship and ethnography among them—that might be incorporated, repurposed, or revitalized toward future scholarship in the history of sexuality.
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