The history of sexuality has been profoundly shaped by ideas about “race”; racist, white supremacist institutions and practices; and experiences of racism and anti-Blackness, both by historical actors and researchers today. Much of what we know about sex and sexuality in history, the sources we have, who can undertake work, and whose work is valued is related to the fact that some histories and voices have been privileged while others have been marginalised. This goes beyond academic research, and extends into publishing, funding, primary and secondary education, access to tertiary education, and much more. Colonialism and imperialism have also been key to these dynamics. We must interrogate their roles in the production of knowledge about sex, sexuality, and race in the past and in the present. Telling these marginalised histories of sexualities matters not only because they highlight the systemic workings of inequalities and oppression, but they also build understanding and knowledge of diverse experiences and practices of sexuality.

It is precisely for these reasons that NOTCHES is committed to publishing research into Black, colonial, imperial, and global south histories, as well as histories that interrogate the processes of racialisation within discourses of sexuality. Across the UK and US, where most of our editors are based, we may see references to BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) or BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) people, communities, and histories. While NOTCHES has worked to highlight diverse and marginalised histories, including BAME/BIPOC histories of sexualities, and amplify the voices and research undertaken by scholars of colour, there is more to be done and more we can do.

In the next few months, NOTCHES will publish a roundtable on the ways history of sexuality has been shaped by “race” and racism. We will also more proactively reach out to BAME/BIPOC historians of sexuality to invite their contributions to NOTCHES.

In the meantime, please read some of the innovative and important historical writing at NOTCHES that help us understand intersections of sex and sexuality with Race and Ethnicity and Empire and Colonialism. Or submit a piece to NOTCHES. We welcome submissions of new research into the histories of sex and sexuality, particularly its intersections with race and ethnicity as well as empire and colonialism. We especially encourage submissions from historians from underrepresented communities, Black and POC authors, and those living and working outside the Anglo-American academy.

NOTCHES Editors



Creative Commons License

NOTCHES: (re)marks on the history of sexuality is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.notchesblog.com.

For permission to publish any NOTCHES post in whole or in part please contact the editors at NotchesBlog@gmail.com

2 Comments

  1. Sarah Schulman
  2. I’ve argued before that the body of work on dysfunctional Black family structures is about (Black women’s) sexuality and their unfitness for full citizenship. See the special issue on racialized sexual citizenship (which I edited) of the Journal of African American History.

Leave a Reply to Sarah Schulman Cancel

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *