Psych: Sexuality: The Struggle is Real

Panic, Liberation and Sexuality in 20th Century London and Paris

  • London and Paris

Available spots

Course Details

Preferred majors for this course: Psychology, Sociology, Pre-Med, Criminal Justice, History, English The hissing gaslights and bursting gin palaces may be gone from London and Paris today. As are the sexually-charged environments of old Soho or Pigalle, where the smell of gin and opium mixed freely among wealthy patrons, whose lives during the day were carefully-crafted expressions of Victorian respectability but whose nights whipsawed into brothels, cruising spots and hidden-away LGBTQ bars. Yet the conflicted and even tortured discourses about sexuality that were produced in those earlier eras still govern in key ways how we see sexuality in the 2020s. This long continuity and how, why and where it has broken over time will be our focus this summer all over London and Paris. You're invited to join us on a tour-de-force exploration into the the story of sexuality from the era of Sigmund Freud to our own times. Using the streets, museums, clinics and public parks of London and Paris as our classrooms, we will explores sexual attitudes, desires, behaviors, identities, communities, and movements from the time before World War One to today. We will use incomparable historic, artistic and medical environments to explore how bourgeois and middle-class norms around sexuality were medically, legally and practically codified. As we also explore how the powerful forces of "normalization" met fierce resistance by individuals and groups alike, from gay martyrs like Oscar Wilde to the sexual revolutionaries of the 1960s and onto the more recent battles for LGBTQ sanctity and equality. Our discussions/experiences will seek to understand the experience of war, fascism, reconstruction and consumerism as well as the effects of political, economic, and social change on understandings and experiences of sexuality. Dr. Ashley Thompson will teach this course.

Upcoming Sessions

Contact Details


416 Laurel Avenue Saint Paul, MN 55102