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Shortlisted for the Modernist Studies Assocation Book Prize
Statue-fondlers, wanderlusters, sex magicians, and nymphomaniacs: the story of these forgotten sexualities—what Michel Foucault deemed “minor perverts”—has never before been told. In The Book of Minor Perverts, Benjamin Kahan sets out to chart the proliferation of sexual classification that arose with the advent of nineteenth-century sexology. The book narrates the shift from Foucault’s “thousand aberrant sexualities” to one: homosexuality. The focus here is less on the effects of queer identity and more on the lines of causation behind a surprising array of minor perverts who refuse to fit neatly into our familiar sexual frameworks. The result stands at the intersection of history, queer studies, and the medical humanities to offer us a new way of feeling our way into the past.