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“The History of Sexuality in
Canada” (Winter 2011)
A second-year lecture course
Instructor: Steven Maynard, Dept. of
History, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario
From the course description:
From First Nations to Queer
Nation, this course is an introduction to Canada’s sexual past. We
will explore the diverse history of sexualities in the nation we now call
Canada, from “berdache” and buggery in Nouvelle France to
lesbian bars and the birth control pill in the postwar period. We begin
with several classes on how to think about sexuality as historical –
as the basis for identities and communities, as a form of regulation, and
as a hotly contested terrain of politics. Subsequent lectures explore
central themes and developments in Canada’s sexual past.
will approach sexuality as a prism through which to view the operations of
power in the past, both in its pleasurable modes and in its more dangerous
manifestations. Drawing on Foucauldian, feminist, and post-colonial
thought, we will investigate sexuality’s intimate connections to a
wide range of variables, including gender, race, age, class, colonialism
terms of format, this is a lecture course. Lectures will provide broad
overviews and interpretations of Canada’s sexual past. The course
adopts both a chronological and thematic approach with an emphasis on
transformations between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Lectures
will be supplemented by recent writing on the history of sexuality in
Canada, films/videos, and web resources.
the course, one of our central questions will be: what difference does
sexuality make, what leverage can it give us, in the project of rethinking
Canada, both in the past and in the ‘historical present’?
For further details, see the course syllabus.