Critical Sexology in the Midlands Inaugural Session - 14th February 2014

"Rethinking Foucault for 21st-Century Sexuality Studies"

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  1. Dr Romana Rosalie Byrne (independent scholar), “Foucault’s Elusive ars erotica and the Case of Aesthetic Sexuality”

    In this talk, Dr Byrne explicates the idea of "aesthetic sexuality", a term she coined in her 2010 doctoral thesis written at the University of Melbourne, Australia, now a monograph with Bloomsbury Press. Byrne shows how Foucault developed the idea of "scientia sexualis", to the detriment of "ars erotica". Foucault seems to claim that erotic arts are a uniquely Eastern phenomenon, yet Byrne shows how Western literary writing and aesthetic philosophy amply articulate an aesthetic of sexuality that might approximate Foucault's under-developed concept.
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