Monday, January 14, 2008

$1.5 million for revealing sex

University of California Berkeley announced on January 3rd, Professor Thomas Laqueur of the history faculty has won the Mellon Foundation Distinguished Achievement Award. He received the award for his unconventional historical research into topics of sexuality, death and dying, and the body and gender. The award comes with an amount of one and a half million dollars, what with even a weak dollar is no petty cash.

On these unconventional subjects Thomas Laqueur has published various articles and books among others the widely read and translated works Making Sex; Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud (Harvard Press) and Solitary Sex; A Cultural History of Masturbation (Zone Books). Apart from this unconventional work, Professor Laqueur teaches History at Berkeley and we can enjoy his lectures on the history of Europe from the renaissance to today through podcast.

This podcast, known as History 5, was delivered by Laqueur last Fall and previously in 2006, all of which can be listened back through Berkeley's webcast site. History 5 will be delivered again in the spring of 2008 by Professor Margaret Lavinia Anderson. Both professor Anderson and Laqueur make of this podcast a great learning experience and from my point of view, theirs is the best history podcast the web has to offer.

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