The Sexual Body in History and Society

Principal Investigator:

Dr Ivan Crozier

Research Team:

Dr Ivan Crozier


This project derives from two strands of my previous work in the history of sexuality and in the history of the body, and considers how the sexual body has changed throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The first part of this project is explored in my chapter "The Sexual Body since 1920", in Ivan Crozier (ed.), The Cultural History of the Human Body, vol. 6, Berg, Oxford, in press. It applies a method derived from performative theories of social instituions (broadly, the Strong Programme in the Sociology of scientific Knowledge, Michel Foucault, Ian Hacking, and to some extent Judith Butler).

Central to this project is the axiom that the body is not natural, but rather needs to be situated in its specific cultural contexts, with proper attention to the roles played by power, knowledge, and communication technologies in order to appreciate how the sexual body evolves over time--by looking at problems such as sexual aesthetics (eg, pubic hair), sexual modifications (eg, piercings), and sexual corporeal techniques (eg, female ejaculation, sexual pedagogy, sexual techniques, etc.)