Frigidity in France: the history of a sexual pathology and of its place in feminist critique (2005–2007)
This project will work through both literary and medical texts in order to understand the complex circumstances in which frigidity was put together as a form of sexual illness towards the end of the nineteenth century. Frigidity was not an empirical discovery but a rich and sometimes contradictory construction which emerged via the circulation of themes through different domains. This project will describe the literary figures and the pieces of narrative which came together in the notion that women's resistance to sex was a medical problem. And it will try to understand the historical importance of those figures and stories for modern feminist theory.