Instructor: Julie Reshe, PhD

Course Description: As Foucault already observed, our worldview is thoroughly pansexualistic. Because we are first of all seen as sexual beings, we are now socially pressured to privately believe and publicly proclaim our sexual identities as a defining truth of who we are.

Freud based his theory on the initial hypothesis that the distinctive and defining property of humans is an overdevelopment of the sexual drive. Our today’s approach to the self, which, as Foucault showed, reduces our essence to sexuality, still implicitly affirms Freud’s hypothesis.

Being declared as the hidden ultimate truth of who we are, sexual drive is also seen as the very materiality that underlies human attachment: sexual drive is not only who we are but what brings us together.

Accordingly, today’s conventional concept of love is centered around sexuality. It implies that the secret essence of intimate relationships is sexual desire. In particular, the most material expressions of love – kissing, licking, and tender touching – are unthinkable as phenomena autonomous from sexuality.

This course is an attempt to deconstruct pansexualistic view on human love. Through developing a more feminist perspective and resorting to modern scientific knowledge, we will consider the question: What if all-pervasive sexual drive is a convenient patriarchal fiction and and how can we resist it? 

December 3, 10, 17 and 24 at 1pm EST (New York Time) Sundays

Schedule and Meeting Times:

1. 3 December, 1 pm EST (New York Time) - 2:30 pm EST (Sunday)

Introductory Class:

The origins and repressive nature of pansexualism

2. 10 December, 1 pm EST (New York Time) - 2:30 pm EST (Sunday)

Love after Plato: Roots of Freud’s theory.

3. 17 December, 1 pm EST - 2:30 pm EST (New York Time) (Sunday)

Freud’s pansexualistic perspective.

4. 24 December, 1 pm EST - 2:30 pm EST (New York Time) (Sunday)

Overcoming pansexualistic perspective:

attachment theory and sociocognitive neurobiology

(John Bowlby, Matthew Lieberman)