Public Program- Helen Horowitz

Lectures and Performances
Tuesday, September 24, 2002 - 7:30pm

The Nineteenth Century's Culture War
By Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz

nineteenth century newspaper cartoon of men in a bar on a Saturday night
In this program based upon her latest book, Rereading Sex: Battles over Sexual Knowledge and Suppression in Nineteenth-Century America Dr. Horowitz describes a many-voiced America in which an earthy acceptance of desire and sexual expression collided with the prohibitions broadcast from the pulpit and the printed page by evangelical Christian elements. Among these voices are those of: Victoria Woodhull, the agitator who placed sex at the center of life; Robert Owen and Frances Wright visionaries who espoused free thought; Sylvester Graham, a food faddist who obsessed about the dangers of masturbation; and Anthony Comstock, who succeeded in banning sexual subject matter from the mails in an early battle of a national cultural war that continues to this day.

Helen Horowitz is the Sylvia Dlugasch Bauman Professor in American Studies at Smith College. She was awarded a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at AAS in 1999-2000. Rereading Sex will be published in September 2002, by Alfred A. Knopf.

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