Classics and the History of Sexuality

Subject code


Course Number



D. O'Higgins

Course Long Title

Classics and the History of Sexuality

Cross Listed Courses


This course investigates how the language and culture of ancient Greece and Rome has shaped many of our contemporary ideas on sexuality in the United States. Students explore the role of Greco-Roman material in discourses of sexual identity, freedom, and oppression from the first scientific studies of sexual behavior in the late nineteenth century to notions of sex, gender, and sexuality in the modern day. Throughout the course, students analyze texts from both ancient and modern contexts to see how classical culture has acted as an explanatory force in the fields of medicine, psychology, law, and politics. Students also explore how marginalized groups, especially LGBTQI peoples, have used Greco-Roman antiquity as a means both for forming community and for arguing their equal rights.

Modes of Inquiry

Analysis and Critique [AC], Historical and Social Inquiry [HS]

Writing Credit

No writing credit

INDS Program Relationship

IDCM - CMS Program, IDGS - GSS Program

GEC This Course Belongs To