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Teaching the Polyamorous (Long) Eighteenth Century1

Christopher Nagle


1. First and last, I must acknowledge a singular debt to my friend and frequent collaborator in polyamorous study, Courtney Wennerstrom, whose energy, erudition, and wise counsel have been crucial to my thinking about how to teach this material, and what is at stake in doing so. Her current book project, Polyamorousness: "Divided Affection" in Eighteenth Century Life, is the first study to address this subject and promises to revolutionize thinking about the politics and poetics of affective life in the period. Thanks, too, to Dona Yarbrough for generously providing helpful feedback and essential computer access for me in Rio. For the 2011 incarnation of the course, please visit:


Barash, David P. and Judith P. Lipton. The Myth of Monogamy: Fidelity and Infidelity in Animals and People. New York: W. H. Freeman, 2001. Print.

Barthes, Roland. The Rustle of Language. Trans. Richard Howard. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1989. Print.

Dean, Tim. Unlimited Intimacy: Reflections on the Subculture of Barebacking. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009. Print.

Edmondson, George. The Neighboring Text: Chaucer, Boccaccio, Henryson. South Bend: University of Notre Dame Press, 2011. Print.

Phillips, Adam. Monogamy. New York: Pantheon Books, 1996. Print.


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