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Sex Lives of Colonists Discussed

Sex Lives of Colonists Next in Library Lecture Series at UC Riverside

Richard Godbeer to Discuss His Book “Sexual Revolution in Early America”
Part of “Meet the Author” Lectures hosted by The Library

(February 20, 2003)

Sexual Revolution in Early America

Sexual Revolution in Early America

Feb. 20, 2003 — Richard Godbeer, a professor of history at the University of California, Riverside, will speak about his eye-opening book, “Sexual Revolution in Early America,” in which he reexamines the sexual lives of our founding fathers and mothers. The free public lecture is scheduled for 3 p.m., Wednesday March 12, on the fourth floor Special Collections reading room of the Tomás Rivera Library.

The event is the latest in the “Meet the Author” Lecture Series, organized to bring the riches of the UC Riverside Library to the community. According to organizer Melissa Conway, who heads UC Riverside’s Special Collections, the authors are either from UC Riverside, or relevant to some of the library’s rare collections, such as the Tomás Rivera Archive, the Rupert Costo Library of the American Indian and the J. Lloyd Eaton Collection of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and Utopian Literature.

Published by Johns Hopkins University Press in May 2002, Godbeer’s 448-page work was included as an Alternate Selection of the History Book Club. “Sexual Revolution in Early America” overturns the conventional wisdom about Puritan attitudes toward sex: although deeply hostile to sex outside of marriage, Puritans considered sexual intimacy so crucial to a healthy marriage that they excommunicated those who denied “conjugal fellowship” to their spouses.

All the lectures begin at 3 p.m. Other upcoming speakers in the series include:

April 16 — Margie Akin, an assistant research anthropologist, will speak on her study, “Passionate Possessions,” about what drives human beings to build collections.

May 8 — Deborah Dozier, alumna of UC Riverside’s Ph.D. program in anthropology and professor of American Indian studies at Palomar College. Dozier and Jo May Modesto will speak about their work-in-progress on the female descendents of the famed Ramona, the heroine of the book of the same name by Helen Hunt Jackson. Mrs. Modesto is a direct descendent of Ramona.

May 21 — Gregory Benford, Professor of Physics at UC Irvine, will speak on his 1999 nonfiction work “Deep Time,” which deals with building messages for the really, really long term. The book discusses the design of warnings for nuclear waste sites that can be understood 10,000 years from now, and the development of a plaque to be attached to the Saturn-bound Cassini spacecraft. Deep time refers to the hundred-million-year stretches of geologic time.

Contact Special Collections at (909) 787-3233 for more details about this and other events in the “Meet the Author” series.

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