Leila J. Rupp,
“Toward a Global History of Same-Sex Sexuality”

Leila J. Rupp is a historian, feminist, and professor of Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is an alumna of Bryn Mawr College, a member of the well-known Seven Sisters women’s colleges in the US, where she received her Ph.D. in history. Together with Verta Taylor and Nancy Whittier, Rupp is co-editor of Feminist Frontiers, a textbook often used in Feminist studies or Women’s and Gender studies classes because of its classic and contemporary readings on topics cut across disciplinary and generational lines, presenting the full diversity of women’s lives and exploring commonalities and interconnected differences by paying close attention to the diversity of experiences and the intersections of gender with race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, nationality, and ability.

In this assigned article, Leila J. Rupp provides a variety of examples of same-sex sexuality across the globe. She favors this concept over terms such as gay, lesbian, homosexual, and queer in order to “avoid assumptions about the meanings of desire, acts, and relationships” (287).

As you read:

  • Draw on what you have learned in this course to identify the cultural narratives or stories that contribute to how our contemporary society understands normative sexuality.
  • Think about the various examples from the essay that complicate what we call same-sex acts.

Find the Rupp reading here.