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The Emergence of Sexuality: Foucault, Sexual Identities, and the Modern Self


In his groundbreaking study, The History of Sexuality: Volume 1, philosopher and historian Michel Foucault provocatively argued that the thing we call sexuality, the supposed essence of our sexual core, our desires, our selves, is in fact “a name that can be given to a historical construct.” In this Olio, we will discuss the significance of Foucault’s claim that sexuality is not an essential and fixed quality inherent to our being, but rather the result of historical shifts in power and knowledge. We will examine how and why it is we have come to think of sexuality as a “problem of truth,” as a secret to be revealed. 

We will look closely at the philosopher’s controversial claim that at the very moment we imagine sexuality as being repressed, driven under, made to hide, it was indeed “exploding,” “inciting,” and proliferating unto every aspect of human experience. We will also ask ourselves about the value of Foucault’s work for challenging our own ideas about our personal desires, our identity categories, and our cherished notions of the self.

All $10 of the ticket cost will be donated directly to support victims of the Pulse shooting at gofundme.com/pulsevictimsfund.




Location: Nowadays

56-06 Cooper Ave, Ridgewood, NY 11385

Trees, ping pong, checkers, grass to lie in, fresh air, and the occasional passing freight train.


Other upcoming Olios


Apr 24

The Problem of Evil

Taught by Jeanne Proust
7:30 p.m. at Nowadays

Sign Up - $15

May 4

Wakanda Forever: Rethinking Killmonger as Villain

Taught by Makeba Lavan
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

May 11

The Myth of Progress: Our Most Violent Fantasy

Taught by Jamie Warren
8 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

May 14

Kafka Will Ruin Your Life and Make You Laugh About It

Taught by Geoff Klock
7:30 p.m. at Strong Rope Brewery

Sign Up - $15

May 18

Wait...Where is the Right to Privacy in the US Constitution, Exactly?

Taught by Lawrence Cappello
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

May 25

Happiness?

Taught by Jeanne Proust
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20


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