Ph.D. Candidate, University of Exeter and University of Queensland
2018 to 2019
Later Life Sexuality and its Genealogies of Knowledge: The Sciences of Sex and Ageing, c. 1870 – 1980.
My project explores the history of later life sexuality by tracing the parallel and contemporaneous emergence of the sciences of sex and ageing across Europe and the United States from the late nineteenth to twentieth centuries. Historians have demonstrated the influence that sexology, psychoanalysis, geriatrics, and gerontology separately had on understandings of sexuality and ageing still thriving today. However, such research has paid little attention to the combined concept of later life sexuality, leading to pervasive ahistorical notions that claim sexuality and ageing cannot coexist. By revisiting the histories of the sciences of sex and age through medical monographs, journal articles, and other channels of circulating scientific knowledge, I not only demonstrate that the sexual sciences were deeply preoccupied with age and vice versa, but also suggest that the ‘declines’ of age-related changes actually opened up the possibility for scientific epistemologies to formulate queerer understandings of sexuality and later life.