Sexuality and Millenialism

CFP: Socialism and Sexuality seminar

Socialism and Sexuality Seminar (2003)
Center for Millennial Studies--Boston University

Postponed from an earlier date, the fourth annual Socialism and Sexuality seminar will be hosted by the Center for Millennial Studies at Boston University, on Friday, April 25, 2003.

This year's seminar--"Sexuality and Millennialism"--will explore the emergence and development of a radical antinomian tradition that fostered, in Norman Cohn's phrase, an "anarchic eroticism." From the Brethren of the Free Spirit in the 12th century to the various counter-cultures that emerged in the last half of the 20th, a variety of socialists, anarchists, and secular and religious communitarians in Europe and the United States have supported the idea that the liberation of the body and its desires would lead to spiritual redemption and the regeneration of society. This workshop will examine the sexual politics of these movements--i.e., their ideas on the connection between sexual liberation, spiritual transformation, and the creation of the perfect society--and compare the ways in which they have changed over time and have varied from place to place.

The seminar will consist of 6 or 7 presenters, and will include time for questions and comments from the audience as well as for discussion among the panel members. We encourage scholars from a variety of fields, including history, religious studies, sociology, literature, and anthropology, to submit paper proposals. If you would like to participate in the "Sexuality and Millennialism" seminar, please send a brief summary of your paper topic (250 words) and a short c.v. to Richard Landes ( and Jesse Battan ( by March 21, 2003.

Contact information:

Jesse Battan
Department of American Studies
California State University
Fullerton, CA 92834-6868
phone: 714-278-3787
fax: 714-278-5820

See also the Socialism and Sexuality website at