Fall 2016 - HIST 115 D100

Introduction to the History of Sexuality (3)

Class Number: 4745

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    WMC 3210, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 8, 2016
    3:00 PM – 3:00 PM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby



Uses lectures, music, film and images to explore the beliefs and social practices through which sexual identities are created and transformed over time. Introduces some of the main theories and concepts used in the field. Breadth-Humanities.


The History of Sexuality in the West

The History of Sexuality in the West traces the emergence of modern sexual identity by exploring how meanings attached to sexuality have been shaped by Christianity, colonialism, and medicine, popular culture, and other social, political, and institutional forces. At the end of the course students will have a much more critical understanding of modern sex and sexuality in the west. Feelings of liberation have also been reported as a side effect.

The material in this course is arranged chronologically, thus students will learn how change over time challenges the notion that sexuality is fixed in nature, driven by biology, and therefore essentially unchanging and unchangeable. We will also explore how sexuality is embedded in ideas about gender, class, and race. Students will be able to apply these analytical concepts in this and other social science and humanities courses.

Students will also learn how to think like a historian. This course achieves this by a) identifying “sexuality” as a topic of historical study, b) introducing ideas put forward by key thinkers c) integrating primary source documents into lectures, tutorial workshops, and assigned readings, d) reading secondary source literature (scholarly history) to examine the conclusions that various historians have come to concerning the history of sexuality.

Course Requirements: An open mind and willingness to see things in a new way.


  • Primary Document Analysis #1 15%
  • Primary Document Analysis #2 20%
  • Participation 20%
  • Midterm 20%
  • Final Exam 25%



Required Texts (all available in the SFU Bookstore and on reserve in the Bennett Library):

Mary Lynn Rampolla, A Pocket Guide to Writing in History 6th ed. (2009)

 Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (with an introduction by Jean Yagen)

Velma Demerson, Incorrigible (Wilfred Laurier Press)

SFU Custom Courseware

Registrar Notes:

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