The editors introduce the core areas of current debate within historical theory, bringing the reader as up to date with continuing debates and current developments as is possible. The book is divided into three parts, covering: • Part I. Foundations: The Theoretical Grounds for Knowledge of the Past • Part II. Applications: Theory-Intensive Areas in History • Part III. Coda. Post-Postmodernism: Directions and Interrogations This important handbook brings together in one volume discussions of the role of modernity, empiricism, realism, post-modernity and deconstruction in the historian's craft. Chapters are written by leading writers from around the world and cover a wide spread of historical sub-disciplines, such as social history, intellectual history, narrative, gender, memory, psycho-analysis and cultural studies, taking in, along the way, the work of thinkers such as Paul Ricouer, Michel Foucault and Hayden White. The Sage Handbook of Historical Theory is an essential resource for practicing historians, and students of history, and will appeal to scholars in related disciplines in the social sciences and humanities who seek a closer understanding of the theoretical foundations of history.
Chapter 18: Sexuality and History
Sexuality and History
The urge to write a history of sexuality is relatively recent, a product of major ideological shifts. In a particular place, a brief window opened, and a set of questions became askable. Like women and the body, sex has not seemed, to most historians since historians began, to have a history at all. What changed?
People write the history they need; one major motive for history-writing is self-interest, accelerated by competition. Histories succeed to the degree that they serve a market. The history of sexuality is a product of the sexual revolutionaries of the late twentieth century, and, especially in its Foucauldian manifestations, will continue to seem important as long as their market exists. We cannot ...