Graduate School of Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic training
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Eroticism and Discourse: The History of Sexuality

PC 797

This course surveys changes in the ways we have thought about sex and imagined ourselves as sexual beings since the colonial period. Our focus throughout will be the political and epistemological dimensions of the ever-shifting boundary between ostensibly "normal" and "abnormal" desire, and the role such discursive formations play in the structuring of both social attitudes and subjective identities. After reading some foundational texts in gender theory and queer theory, we may examine such topics as:

  • The regulation of sex in colonial America.
  • The dimensions of Victorian sexual ideology.
  • The organization of urban prostitution.
  • The evolution of the science of sexology.
  • The categorization of erotic deviance.
  • The discovery of adolescent sexuality.
  • The development of erotic subcultures.
  • The progress of the sexual liberation movements of the 1960s and 70s.
  • The formation of cinematic and internet pornography.
  • The aims of today's activist movements.

Begins February 7, 2014. Meets every other Friday from 10am - 12pm for 12 classes.

For Continuing Education Credit (24 CE's): $450; For academic credit (3 credits): $1875 *There is a $50 registration fee due at the time of registration

Brad Verter, Ph.D., recently joined the faculty at BGSP. He has an extensive background in culture and history, studying as an undergrad at Columbia University and receiving his M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton.

This course is designed to help you:
1. Discuss sexual perceptions and behavior in changing historical contexts.
2. Assess the roles that attitudes regarding race, gender, class, religion, and ethnicity have played in shaping sexual norms.
3. Elucidate the peculiar dialectic between psychological discourse and sexual identity.
4. Explain the shifting boundaries between ostensibly "normal" and "abonormal" desire.
5. Analyze the discursive formulation of subjective erotic identities.
6. Evaluate the dynamics within erotic subcultures.

To register, please contact the registrar at: or 617-277-3915