Way Too Interested
Episode 14

THE CONCEPTUALIZATION OF SEX with Dr. Eleanor Janega and David Halperin

A black-and-white image of a woman with short hair holding a drink in one hand with her other hand on a bicycle wheel; behind her, in color, is a medieval-looking halo
Medievalist Dr. Eleanor Janega
On today's episode of Way Too Interested, medievalist Dr. Eleanor Janega talks with Gavin Purcell about her current obsession: The conceptualization of sex. She explains how her field of study has been distorted in the popular imagination, how medieval people thought about sex, and the surprisingly similar way modern internet communities are talking about it now.

Then, Eleanor and Gavin are joined by David Halperin, the Distinguished Professor of the History and Theory of Sexuality at the University of Michigan; he talks about the differing philosophies of sex offered by thinkers like Plato, Arthur Schopenhauer, and Sigmund Freud, and how societies — in both classical and modern times — have drawn lines between "acceptable" and "unacceptable," or "natural" and "unnatural" types of sex. Plus: How definitions of gender, eroticism, and virility have changed over time.

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Also ...

Follow Gavin on Twitter @gavinpurcell

Follow Eleanor on Twitter @goingmedieval

Read David's books, including How to Be Gay and Gay Shame

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