Historicizing Romantic Sexuality
This volume of Romantic Circles Praxis Series includes an editor's introduction by Richard C. Sha, essays by Richard C. Sha,Jonathan Loesberg,Elizabeth Fay,Jillian Heydt-Stevenson,Susan S. Lanser,Bradford K. Mudge,Daniel O'Quinn,David M. Halperin, and Andrew Elfenbein
In How To Do the History of Sexuality, David M. Halperin puts to rest the idea that Michel Foucault meant in the History of Sexuality to separate sexual acts from identity. According to Halperin, Foucault never intended to encourage historians of sexuality to neglect the connections between sexual subjectivities and sexual acts. From this came the idea of creating a volume of essays that would take on the history of sexuality in the Romantic period, and in so doing use Halperin to rethink what we now know to be a pseudo-Foucaultian divorce between acts and identities, a divorce that has made sexual subjectivities before sexology an historical black hole. This volume is presented here.
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The cover image used with this volume is from an engraving entitled "Eros & Dione," designed by Henry Fuseli and engraved by Moses Haughton, originally appearing as an illustration to Erasmus Darwin's Temple of Nature, published in 1802.
About the Romantic Circles Praxis Series
The Romantic Circles Praxis Series is devoted to using computer technologies for the contemporary critical investigation of the languages, cultures, histories, and theories of Romanticism. Tracking the circulation of Romanticism within these interrelated domains of knowledge, RCPS recognizes as its conceptual terrain a world where Romanticism has, on the one hand, dissolved as a period and an idea into a plurality of discourses and, on the other, retained a vigorous, recognizable hold on the intellectual and theoretical discussions of today. RCPS is committed to mapping out this terrain with the best and mo st exciting critical writing of contemporary Romanticist scholarship.
About the Contributors
Richard Sha is completing Perverse Romanticism, a study of the relationship of aesthetics to sexuality in Britain from 1750-1830. He edited an earlier collection of essays on Romanticism and Sexuality for Romanticism on the Net, volume 23 (2001).
Jonathan Loesberg is a Professor of Literature at American University. He is the author of three books, most recently, A Return to Aesthetics: Autonomy, Indifference and Postmodernism (Stanford, 2005).
Jillian Heydt-Stevenson is an Associate Professor in the Departments of English and of Comparative Literature and Humanities at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is the author of Austen's Unbecoming Conjunctions: Subversive Laughter, Embodied History (Palgrave, 2005), as well as the associate editor of Last Poems: 1821-1850 (Cornell Wordsworth, 1999). She has also published articles on Austen, Coleridge, Wordsworth, and Burney.
Susan S. Lanser is Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Chair of Women's and Gender Studies at Brandeis University. She has published widely in the fields of eighteenth century studies, narrative, women writers, and the history of sexuality. Publications most relevant to this contribution include essays in Eighteenth-Century Studies, the Journal of Homosexuality, Textual Practice, and the Huntington Library Quarterly.
Bradford K. Mudge is a professor of English at the University of Colorado at Denver, focusing on eighteenth century literature and the Romantics. He is the author of four books, the latest being The Whore's Story: Women, Pornography, and the British Novel, 1684-1830. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. He is also preparing for publication two books on the artist Thomas Rowlandson.
Daniel O'Quinn is the author of Staging Governance: Theatrical Imperialism in London, 1770-1800 (Johns Hopkins UP, 2005). He has also published a number of essays on Romanticism, theatre and imperial fantasy in such venues as Studies in Romanticism, ERR, ELH, Theatre Journal, TSLL and Romanticism on the Net. He is currently co-editing The Cambridge Companion to British Theatre, 1737-1840 with Jane Moody.
David M. Halperin is the W. H. Auden Collegiate Professor of English, Comp Lit, Women's Studies, and Classical Studies at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and Honorary Professor in the School of Sociology at The University of New South Wales in Sydney. His most recent book is How to Do the History of Homosexuality (2002); Gay Shame, edited with Valerie Traub, is forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press.
Andrew Elfenbein is the Morse-Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor of English at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. He is the author of Byron and the Victorians (1995) and Romantic Genius: The Prehistory of a Homosexual Role (1999).