Monday, April 28, 2014

Summer - HIST-A 200 – Dr. Kinsey and American Culture

HIST-A 200 – Dr. Kinsey and American Culture

A200 (sect. 12239) Dr. Kinsey and U.S. Culture (3 credits)

Instructor: H. Allinson

Meets 12:40-2:30 MTWR

Meets IUB GenEd S&H and COLL (CASE) S&H Breadth of Inquiry Credit


Dr. Alfred Kinsey is often credited with (or accused of) transforming American attitudes towards sex and sparking the sexual revolution. For some, he was a hero, while others have called him a fraud, a pervert, and even a pedophile. Since his death in 1956, 5 biographies have been written about him, and the 2004 biopic about him made Kinsey a household name. What made this IU professor such an important and controversial figure?

            This course examines Dr. Kinsey’s life, work, and legacy, and places him in the broader context of U.S. cultural history. What cultural trends was Dr. Kinsey responding to as he taught and conducted his research? What impact, if any, did he have on those trends? Was his research on sexual behavior truly “revolutionary”?

            Topics to be covered include: the I.U. Marriage course, venereal diseases, eugenics, sex research, the cold war, the sexual revolution, the evolution of homo-/hetero- sexual identities, transgender identities and politics, and contemporary research at the Kinsey Institute. Readings will include unpublished documents from Dr. Kinsey’s archives, and the class will include a visit to the Kinsey Institute.


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