Over the course of the past semester, we have explored a number of themes relating to the gendered nature of history, developing our own understandings of historical change in the process. We also deepened our knowledge of expressions of sexuality in different historical contexts and their implications for people, cultures, and places.
The authors of this collection are undergraduate students at Wake Forest University. Students were enrolled in HST/WGS 114/214, led by professor Dr. Mir Yarfitz during the fall 2022 semester. We are an eclectic group of individuals with varying histories, experiences, beliefs, and perspectives. We came together to examine how gender and sexuality have been displayed throughout history. We worked in the following thematic groups to compose chapters exploring individual interests on gender and sexuality in world history:
In Anti-Blackness and Black Feminism, the authors collaborated in an exploration of the history of feminism and the need for a more inclusive form of feminism.
In LGBTQ Lives and Identities, the authors explore how people’s queer identities have impacted their experiences in different periods, ranging from ancient times to the modern day.
The chapters in Sex Work and Pornography examine the often damaging ways that mainstream society has criticized and singled out sex workers and individuals who work in the porn industry. The authors explore how society perceives these individuals, and the oft-negative consequences that result.
Since its inception, the advertising industry has consistently defined, reinforced, and even sometimes challenged gender norms. The industry constantly reminds both women and men of the exact spaces they should fill in society and how they should fill them. In The Ideal Body: The Intersection of Advertising and Gender Roles, the authors take a close look at the intersection of advertisements and the gender roles they have helped perpetuate.
Closer to home, in Wake Forest Student Handbooks: Implications of Societal Constructs on Women, the authors analyze a selection of student handbooks from the Wake Forest Women’s Government Association, placing these documents into the contexts of their times and explaining how the handbooks and the rules they contained affected the lives of women students at Wake Forest.
Finally, in Women's Reproductive Rights and Expression of Sexuality, the authors discuss how gender norms in society, in general and during specific time periods, have influenced various topics ranging from clothing to reproductive rights to the expression of sexuality.
Thank you to our ZSR Library team, including Kathy Shields, Megan Mulder, and Kyle Denlinger, and our professor, Dr. Mir Yarfitz.