I am currently working on two book projects. One is a book-length study, tentatively titled Sexual Heresies: Religion, Science, and Sexuality in Modern Britain, that explores the impact of the new sciences of sexuality and new understandings of sexual identity on religion and religious experience, from liberal modernism to the new orthodoxies of conservative Catholicism and evangelicalism. The book ranges from an exploration of the Cambridge ritualists to sexologists like Havelock Ellis, and from sexual radicals like Edward Carpenter to the Anglican Evelyn Underhill. The second book project (Sexuality in Modern Europe, under contract to University of Toronto Press) is an introduction to the history of sexuality in Europe from the mid-eighteenth to the late twentieth centuries. It traces the rise (and fall) of "sexual identity" as both a historical phenomenon and a theoretical construct.
According to Copley, the direction of Carpenter's energies was the result of his reading of Walt Whitman's work and his decision to take Whitman as a kind of guru figure. Copley's book is not reaUy intended entirely as history but rather as a highly personal engagement with the question at the center of the book: how to relate sexuality to the pursuit of mysticism (5).
Dixon reviews Women, Religion and Feminism in Britain, 1750-1900 edited by Sue Morgan.
This is a survey of European history from 1500 to the present. One of the central themes of the course will be the relationship between the “body politic” (the society, state, or nation) and “body politics” (the relationship between different kinds of bodies – sexed, racialized, able/ disabled, old/ young, as individuals or in the mass – and the state or nation). The main focus of the course will be on western Europe (particularly Britain, France, and Germany) but we will also be considering Europe in its relationships with other parts of the world.
The course also puts significant emphasis on building critical historical skills and on helping you to write more effective history essays and to become a better historian.
This course begins with the Great War and its impact on British society. We will then discuss some of the key features of the inter-war period: topics include the emergence of a new youth culture, the impact of fascism and communism on British political culture, the "abdication crisis," the Great Depression, and the challenge to British imperial power. The course will end with an exploration of World War II and its aftermath. A key theme of the course will be the ways that these changes shaped (and were themselves shaped by) changing understandings of class, "race" and ethnicity, and gender and sexuality.
When WWII ended with victory for Britain and its allies in both Europe and the Pacific, Britons turned to the transition from “warfare state” to “welfare state.” Over the next half century Britain was transformed in far-reaching ways, and this course explores the cultural, social, and political dimensions of that transformation. Exploring topics ranging from the end of empire and the rise of new forms of sexual and popular culture in the 1950s and 1960s, the political experiments of the 1970s and the rise of “Thatcherism” in the 1980s, to new conflicts and challenges (as well as new forms of political and cultural consensus) at the end of the 20th century, the course traces the ways that class, “race” and ethnicity, religion, and gender and sexuality reshaped British society in the second half of the twentieth century, as well as being reshaped themselves.