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Grant number: FEL-257902-18

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Clare A. Lyons
University of Maryland, College Park (College Park, MD 20742-5141)

18th-Century Ocean Voyagers, Enslavement, and the Invention of the Sexual Self, 1690-1800

A book-length study of 18th-century sexuality, as it was affected by global geographic mobility and transregional colonial encounters.

This project models a new approach to global histories of sexuality. It explores what I have conceptualized as an eighteenth-century Anglo-Oceanic world: a world knit together by the movement of people and ideas through oceanic trade, migration and print culture. It uncovers a transregional cultural space that stretched from particular places in the Americas to key places in Asia, and analyzes the patterns of intimate behavior, and the ideas ascribed to them, created in this world. It highlights the centrality of slavery and enslavement, sexual slavery and concubinage, and same-sex intimacy among free men. It argues that transregional geographic mobility and cross-cultural colonial encounters played a constitutive role in creating new forms of subjectivity, particularly the sexual self; and that sexuality within the Anglo-Oceanic world was instrumental in shaping the eighteenth-century transformations in ideas about human sexuality in Western culture.

Project fields:
History, Other; U.S. History; Women's History


Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2018 – 5/31/2019