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David Halperin

David Halperin W. H. Auden Distinguished University Professor of the History and Theory of Sexuality halperin@umich.edu | homepage

I have written a number of articles on Plato’s erotic theory using a variety of approaches: philosophical, historical, deconstructive, cultural. I approach the topic from the twin but competing perspectives of the history of sexuality and the history of love.

Much of my career has been devoted to consolidating the fields of lesbian and gay studies and queer theory (I co-founded GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies in 1991, which I continued to co-edit for fifteen years; I co-edited The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader in 1993; I co-founded the Lesbian and Gay Caucus of the American Philological Association and established the John J. Winkler Memorial Trust, among other initiatives).

But I have returned to Plato periodically, whose work grounds the graduate course I teach on Theories of Love (which begins with Plato and ends with Nabokov and Barthes). I have also written on the work of Michel Foucault. I am interested generally in questions of sexual ethics and the history of truth.

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