Thursday, January 10, 2013

University Course to Discuss Consanguinamory

I offer qualified kudos to Stefani Engelstein and the University of Missouri for offering this course...

WGST 8005/German 8087/English 8110 - Topics in Women's and Gender Studies-Humanities
Stefani Engelstein
MW 2:00-3:15pm | Strickland Hall 115 

Semester Topic: Sibling Incest in Theory and Literature 

This course will explore a number of theoretical and critical perspectives on incest, and sibling incest in particular, alongside readings of literature of the late eighteenth through early twentieth century. We will consider the way incest functions to establish or to upset identity in the context of national, religious, racial, and familial structures. We will also examine the deployment of erotic desire, love, and sympathy as political, economic, and textual strategies, and analyze the gender dynamics involved in such deployment. Finally, we will investigate the positioning of the incest taboo at the border of nature and culture, or science and the humanities, in the context of the founding of disciplines and the policing of their boundaries.

No knowledge of German is required for this course, but Masters students in German Studies will be expected to read texts in German when that was the language of composition.
It is great to see a discussion of something that is, and has always been, a part of life and literature. Hopefully, Engelstein's course will dispel false notions, wiping away ignorance and prejudice.

The professional bigots and sex-negative nutjobs are already threatening to faint. I found they were linking to's coverage by Oliver Darcy...
The university did not make a spokesperson available for comment, despite multiple requests from Campus Reform. Engelstein did not respond to requests for comment.

Engelstein, who will teach the class, has also authored a number of scholarly articles on the topic of sibling incest and a book entitled Sibling Logic: Incest, Collective Identity, and the Subject.

Sounds interesting. Darcy was tipped off by Jennifer Kabbany at, under the heading of "Outrageous Offerings: Top Five Worst Classes of Spring 2013 Semester."

Perusing class schedules at universities across the nation illustrates that legitimate courses of study can be found among the hallowed halls of higher education, but there’s plenty of fringe, questionable, biased or pointless classes peppered throughout. Here’s a look at some of the most extreme examples of that from this spring’s course catalogs:

Fringe? No, it is certainly not fringe. Questionable, biased? How are we to know since we haven't taken the course? Pointless? Clearly not.
Bottom line: it’s a ridiculous compilation of academic gobbledygook that ultimately seeks to defend and normalize incest as commonplace and acceptable.
It is commonplace and it is acceptable.

I am certain there are far more students at the university who've engaged in consensual incest with a sibling than will be taking the course. The fact is, sibling consanguinamory has gone on throughout human history, and is going on right now. Consanguineous sex play, exploration, and experimentation is going on all over the world, and in some cases, siblings are living out lifelong spousal relationships. Why should higher education ignore that, or the depiction  of such in literature or the other arts? Would these naysayers ban Greek Mythology classes? Expunge from film classes the scene in "The Empire Strikes Back" in which a sister kisses her brother? The histories of the royals in Hawaii, ancient Egypt, and elsewhere? There's a lot of history and classic art that would be ignored in academia, all to push a sex-negative agenda by sex police types. Some of these very same critics will wave their Bible, which, ironically, depicts and implies incest in many passages.

Nobody should challenge the University of Missouri by asking why it will have a course discussing sibling incest. Rather, other universities should be asked why they don't.
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