Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Moore, Alison Downham (2019). The Historicity of Sexuality: Knowledge of the Past in the Emergence of Modern Sexual Science. Modern Intellectual History, 1-24.

DOI:10.1017/S147924431900026X

Open access

Abstract
From the very moment the concept of sexuality emerged in nineteenth-century European medical and psychiatric thought, it became a topic of historicization. This historicization formed a consistent habit of thought in many of the medical and psychiatric texts that first enunciated sexuality as a distinct field of meaning. Dialogue between doctors and the first historians of sexuality informed the emergence of both sexology and of the historiography of sexuality. This dialogue suggests a need to rethink the origins of sexual historiography, situating current historians within a continuous genealogy, rather than as transcendental observers marked by epistemological rupture from earlier biological theories of sexual evolution.

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