September 18, 2012
Foucault, Sedgwick and Butler: they all give an idea of knowledge; an idea of what it means to know.
Foucault: how can we think of sex as something to know? Conservative and odd histories about confession and
Sedgwick: Epistemology of sex the kind of knowledge that the metaphor of the closet inaugurates and assumes.
o The metaphor of the closet assumes to be “truth”
o Queer are set up as the holders of knowledge.
o The Queer person becomes the guardian of the knowledge and make sure that other people know.
o Saying that this/that type of person gay knowledge very narrow
Butler: more implicit
o She doesn’t talk about the natural/biology, etc.
What we consider knowledge is culturally situated and historically situated, not something that we can take for
Two types of knowledge about sex: Ars Erotica vs Scientia Sexualis
o Erotica: intimate love
o Erotic Arts vs Scientific knowledge about sex
o Art vs Science:
o Ars characterized ancient cultures
o Science us
o Erotic Arts: presupposes an idea of knowledge as something that is passed bound from person to
person and is transmitted actively with the participation of the knower.
o Science Sexuality: is disembodies, more abstract, not a process of learning by doing or thinking by your
own sex. It is learning about sex as something that happens to others and other species. It is kind of
looking humans as a scientific object. Objectivity
o Speaking form personal experience vs distance objective voice.
Foucault: in our culture, sex is this dist