What role does sexuality play in knowledge production? The formation and dissemination of sexual knowledge are familiar subjects to scholars working in fields from queer theory to the history of science, but, despite a turn towards questions of embodied practices, intellectual history has done less to account for the role of sexuality in knowledge production. What do intellectual history and the history of sexuality have to say to each other?
This panel uses examples drawn from early modern and modern European history to explore new directions for using sexuality as an analytic category in intellectual history. Drawing on current research in the histories of the book, of scholarship, and of educational institutions, Paul Babinski, Benjamin Bernard, and Emily Rutherford—collaborators in the ongoing project Histories of Sexuality and Erudition—survey the roles of sexuality in the conditions of knowledge-making in three historical moments: among German Orientalists in early modern Istanbul; in the collèges of Enlightenment Paris, and in modern British universities. As an introduction, Alan Stewart will reflect on this field of inquiry since the publication of his Close Readers: Humanism and Sodomy in Early Modern England (Princeton UP, 1997). Camille Robcis will provide comment, placing these efforts in the context of the field of intellectual history today.
Paul Babinski (German, Princeton)
Benjamin Bernard (History, Princeton)
Prof. Camille Robcis (History/French, Columbia)
Emily Rutherford (History, Columbia)
Prof. Alan Stewart (English & Comparative Literature, Columbia)