Research Uncovered: Dr Sebastian Matzner ‘The History of Sexuality’

We were delighted when Dr Sebastian Matzner was voted to represent the College of Humanities in this year’s Research Uncovered lecture series. These open lectures showcase the work of academics at Exeter University to students and the wider community, and allow students to engage with the research done by their tutors. Dr Matzner’s lecture on the history of sexuality covered how classical sources, such as art and literature, were used by German writers focusing on same sex love to argue their cause, and showed how Classical Antiquity was used in these situations. Here are a few thoughts from some of students who attended!

I’d say that the best bit about the lecture was how well Sebastian knew his topic and how passionate he is about it.” – Charles Curtis, 2nd Year Classics

“It was fascinating to hear about a situation in which the Classical past has been used in a modern-world context for the benefit of modern society (ie. the gay movement in Germany)” – Ben Pullan, 2nd Year Classics

“I thought that the talk did what all good talks did: not only was it immensely informative, but it showed how much out there was still available to know, and inspired me to try to discover and learn for myself.”- Tom McConnell, 3rd Year Classics, 3rd Year SSLC Representative

“Sebastian’s ability to analyse both sexual and psychological history resulted in an eye-opening lecture that effectively shrunk the wide gap between modern and classical societies and their respective views on sexuality.” – Charles Pelham-Lane, 2nd Year Classics

“An intellectual discussion raising an important modern issue. I was particularly impressed by his ability to amalgamate ancient cultural perceptions with modern day movements.” – Ed Baker, 2nd Year Classics

“A great expose of how classics can relate to a topic which is very prominent in modern society, presented with great passion and with a wealth of amusing anecdotes and sources that kept the audience laughing. Sebastian prompted moving reflections by drawing together the cultural taboo that was male homosexuality in 19th C. Germany and how it engaged with, most prominently, Plato’s works on love. Leaving the talk on an academic cliff-hanger ensured my attendance at Sebastian’s ‘Part 2’ at the CA meeting next week.” – James Lloyd, MA Classics and Ancient History

The event attracted plenty of attention on Twitter! #RU2015

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