2 et 3 décembre 2014, Amsterdam : Colloque Sade Today organisé par le Dr. Gert Hekma (University of Amsterdam) et le Dr. Lode Lauwaert (Université de Louvain)
Argument du colloque : « 200 years ago – on December 2, 1814 –, the libertine novelist Marquis de Sade died in an asylum. During that era in history, many ideas on sexuality have been formulated that still influence modern society: the gender dichotomy, sexuality as a natural and private issue, infantine innocence, explicit sexual imagery being taboo, the nuclear family as cornerstone of society, etc. Sade transgressed these beliefs in his work, and opposed such ideas that have become ingrained in Western societies. He made sexuality explicit in his work, put sodomy above coital sex, plural loves above monogamy, incest above marriage and family, spoiling sperm above sparing it, gender diversity above binary discipline, and instead of opposing reason to emotion, he gave them equal value. However, up until now, little attention has been paid to the relation between Sade’s transgressive ideas and contemporary views of sexuality that got their shape during the Enlightenment. A thorough investigation of this relation and of the actuality of Sade’s work is the general aim of the two-day conference in Amsterdam ».
Conférenciers invités :
Prof. William Edmiston (University of South Carolina, Columbia)
Dr. Rico Sneller (Leiden University, The Netherlands)
Prof. Éric Marty (Université Paris VII, France)
Dr. Judith Veega (University of Groningen, The Netherlands)
Titre et résumé de l’intervention :
Sade, “sexual perversion” and us: another history of sexuality from the end of the Enlightenment to the 21st century.
Since the 1970’s, history of “abnormal sexuality” has focused on the normalisation of sexual conducts and identities by heterosexuality and gender binarism. This work was needed to denounce the repression of sexual minorities by the “psy-knowledge”. But all these inquiries have led to almost obliterate another factor which is maybe the very core of the late modern and contemporary history representations and experience of “perverse sexuality” in the western world: sadism in its intrinsic link to the work, the figure and the cultural place of Sade.
We aim to propose such a new history and to underline its philosophical and anthropological stakes. It can explain why Sade haunts human and psychological sciences and literature from the first “psychiatrisation” of “abnormal sexualities” (the invention of “sexual perversion”) in the middle of the 19th century till today.
First, we will describe the construction and the cultural diffusions of a “sadian myth” between the Enlightenment and the Monarchie de Juillet in France. Indeed, this “myth” has been the main operator in the opening of the modern clinical field of “sexual perversion” in psychiatry. In other words, it has mainly contributed to the invention of “sexual psychology”. But it does not mean that Sade has been a “precursor” of sexology in any way, as it was claimed in the 20th century. This is another “sadian myth” built by the first sexology in the last years on the 19th century and the three first decades of the 20th century.
Then we will go further into the analysis: behind this “myth” is an original representation and experience of sexuality invented by Sade, who has combined two previous western fantasies of cruelty to create a totally new one: the “open Venus” from the Quattrocento, and the “erotic domination” in the Enlightenment literature.