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Posts tagged ‘Kamasutra’

  1. Lecture notes: On the Kamasutra – III

    In the first post in this series, I discussed the “discovery” of the Kamasutra by Richard Burton and its publication in the nineteenth century, and in the second post the western reception of Kamasutra and its incorporation into sexological discourse throughout the twentieth century. These two posts were useful for me to write, in that they enabled me to think about some future directions for exploring the relationship between representations of tantra and sexology/sex-therapy, which I may return to at later date, but in doing so, I realised some months later, that I hadn’t paid much attention to the actual content of the Kamasutra. So, for this third post, I’m going to take a cue from Daud Ali’s (2011) suggestion that, in examining the Kamasutra (and related texts) it is useful to move beyond the limited frame of viewing these texts as simply books about sex, and instead, approach them from a wider perspective – what Ali terms a “kama world” – wherein kama (sensual pleasure) “was not abstracted into a special, sui generis category in and of itself, but instead formed part of wider practices of aesthetic, material and ethical transformation.” Continue reading »

  2. Lecture notes: On the Kamasutra – II

    Having discussed the “discovery” and publication of the Kamasutra, I will now examine some aspects of its history and influence beyond the confines of Burton’s closed circle of gentleman erotophiles. For this post, I will discuss the some of changes in representation of the Kamasutra in the West throughout the twentieth century. Continue reading »

  3. Lecture Notes: On the Kamasutra – I

    Following on from the last post in this series in which I examined William Ward and his contribution to the assciation between tantra and sex, I now want to turn to the second of the three texts I examined in my Treadwells lecture – the Kamasutra. I selected the Kamasutra specifically because it is so frequently assumed to be a “tantric” text, and because I wanted to use it as a “lens” through which to examine the period it was first published in – the late nineteenth century and in addition, its later influence in the 1960s and beyond. For this first post, I will discuss the Kamasutra and the cultural context in which it was published, and follow up with a discussion of the Kamasutra’s wider reception in the twentieth century. Continue reading »