LaFleur to discuss natural history of sexuality in North America at Geddes W. Simpson Lecture

Greta LaFleur, associate professor of American studies at Yale University, will talk about the natural history of sexuality in North America for the 2019 Geddes W. Simpson Lecture on Oct. 22 at the University of Maine.

The free public lecture begins at 3 p.m. in the McIntire Room in Buchanan Alumni House. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, call 207.581.2774.

LaFleur’s research and teaching focus on early North American literacy and cultural studies, the histories of science, race and sexuality. She is the author of “The Natural History of Sexuality in Early America” and co-editor of a special issue of “American Quarterly,” focused on the origins of biopolitics in the Americas.

In the Simpson Lecture, LaFleur will explore how 18th-century natural history — the study of organic life in its environment — actually provided the intellectual foundations for the later development of the scientific study of sex, or sexology.

The Geddes W. Simpson Lecture Series features speakers of prominence who provide significant insight on the intersection of science and history. 

In 2001, Simpson’s family established the Geddes W. Simpson Lecture Fund at the University of Maine Foundation. Simpson was a well-respected faculty member whose 55-year career in the College of Life Sciences and the Maine Agricultural Experiment Station began in 1931. He chaired the Entomology Department from 1954 until his retirement in 1974.