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David M. Halperin

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Title: David M. Halperin  
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Subject: One Hundred Years of Homosexuality, Saint Genet, Halperin, The Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, Brudner Prize
Collection: 1952 Births, Academic Journal Editors, American Academics of English Literature, Gay Writers, Guggenheim Fellows, Lgbt People from Michigan, Lgbt Writers from the United States, Living People, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Faculty, Monash University Faculty, Oberlin College Alumni, People from Chicago, Illinois, Plagiarism Controversies, Queer Theorists, Rome Prize Winners, Stanford University Alumni, University of Michigan Faculty, University of New South Wales Faculty, University of Queensland Faculty
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

David M. Halperin

David M. Halperin
Born (1952-04-02)April 2, 1952
Chicago, Illinois, US
Education Oberlin College
Stanford University
Occupation University professor
Employer University of Michigan

David M. Halperin (born April 2, 1952) is an American theorist in the fields of gender studies, queer theory, critical theory, material culture and visual culture. He is the cofounder of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, and author of several books including Before Pastoral (1983) and One Hundred Years of Homosexuality (1990).


  • Early life and education 1
  • Career 2
  • Work 3
    • Genealogy of homosexuality 3.1
    • One Hundred Years of Homosexuality 3.2
  • Reception by the academic community 4
    • Accusations of plagiarism 4.1
  • Publications 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life and education

David Halperin was born on April 2, 1952, in Chicago, Illinois.[1] He graduated from Oberlin College in 1973, having studied abroad at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in 1972–1973.[2] He received his PhD in Classics and Humanities from Stanford University in 1980.[1][2][3]


In 1977, he served as Associate Director of the Summer Session of the School of Classical Studies at the American Academy in Rome.[2] From 1981 to 1996, he served as Professor of Literature at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[1][2] In 1994, he taught at the University of Queensland, and in 1995 at Monash University.[2] From 1996 to 1999, he was a Lecturer in Sociology at the University of New South Wales.[1] He is currently W. H. Auden Distinguished University Professor of the History and Theory of Sexuality at the University of Michigan, where he is also Professor of English, women’s studies, comparative literature, and classical studies.[1][2][3]

In 1991, he co-founded the academic journal GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, and served as its editor until 2006.[1][4] His work has been published in the Journal of Bisexuality, Identities: Journal for Politics, Gender and Culture, Journal of Homosexuality, Michigan Feminist Studies, Michigan Quarterly Review, Representations, the Bryn Mawr Classical Review, Ex Aequo, UNSW Tharunka, Australian Humanities Review, Sydney Star Observer, The UTS Review, Salmagundi, Blueboy, History and Theory, Diacritics, American Journal of Philology, Classical Antiquity, Ancient Philosophy, Yale Review, Critical Enquiry, Virginia Quarterly Review, American Notes & Queries, London Review of Books, Journal of Japanese Studies, Partisan Review, and Classical Journal.[2]

He has been a Rome Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Rome and a Fellow at the National Humanities Center in North Carolina, as well as a fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center, the Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University in Canberra, and at the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University.[1] In 2008–2009, he received a Guggenheim Fellowship.[1] He received the Michael Lynch Service Award from the Gay and Lesbian Caucus at the Modern Language Association, as well as the Distinguished Editor Award from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals.[1] In 2011–2012, he received the Brudner Prize at Yale University.[5]

Halperin is openly gay.[6] In 1990, he launched a campaign to oppose the presence of the ROTC on the MIT campus, on the grounds that it discriminated against gay and lesbian students.[7] That same year, he received death threats for his gay activism.[8][9] In 2003, the Michigan chapter of the American Family Association tried to ban his course 'How to Be Gay: Male Homosexuality and Initiation.'[10][11] In 2010, he wrote an open letter to Michigan's 52nd Attorney General Mike Cox to denounce the homophobic harassment by one of the latter's staffers, Andrew Shirvell, of a University of Michigan student, Chris Armstrong.[12]


Genealogy of homosexuality

Halperin uses the method of genealogy to study the history of homosexuality. He argues that Aristophanes' speech in Plato's Symposium does not indicate a "taxonomy" of heterosexuals and homosexuals comparable to modern ones. Medieval historian John Boswell has criticized Halperin's arguments.[13]

One Hundred Years of Homosexuality

Halperin's book was published in 1990,[14] two years before the centenary of Charles Gilbert Chaddock's English translation of Richard von Krafft-Ebing's Psycopathia sexuallis. Chaddock is credited with the first use of the term "homosexual" in this translation.[15] Halperin believes that the introduction of this term marks an important change in the treatment and consideration of homosexuality.[14] The book collects six essays by the author. The first essay gives the book its title.

Reception by the academic community

Accusations of plagiarism

Didier Eribon demanded that his name be withdrawn as a recipient of the Brudner prize because he did not want to be associated with Halperin, who won the Brudner for his book What Do Gay Men Want? and who Eribon accused of plagiarizing Eribon's work, Une morale du minoritaire.[16][17][18] According to L'Express, Halperin has not yet responded to Eribon's claims.[17]


  • Before Pastoral: Theocritus and the Ancient Tradition of Bucolic Poetry (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983)
  • Before Sexuality: The Construction of Erotic Experience in the Ancient Greek World, edited with John J. Winkler and Froma I. Zeitlin (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990)
  • One Hundred Years of Homosexuality: and other essays on Greek love (New York: Routledge, 1990)
  • The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader, edited with Henry Abelove and Michele Aina Barale (New York: Routledge, 1993)
  • Saint Foucault: Towards a Gay Hagiography (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995)
  • How to Do the History of Homosexuality (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002)
  • What Do Gay Men Want? (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2007)
  • Gay Shame, edited with Valerie Traub (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009)
  • How to be Gay (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press, 2012)[19]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Guggenheim biography". Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Official resume
  3. ^ a b "Faculty webpage". Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
  4. ^ David M. Halperin, How to Do the History of Homosexuality, paperback, University of Chicago Press, 2004, backcover
  5. ^ "Brudner Prize announcements". 2013-09-19. Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
  6. ^ "International Conference of Asian Queer Studies" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-02-09. 
  7. ^ Peter R. Silver, 'MIT Students Criticize ROTC', in The Harvard Crimson, March 17, 1990 [1]
  8. ^ Jeremy Hylton, 'Halperin receives death threats', in The Tech, Volume 110, Issue 54, November 30, 1990 [2]
  9. ^ Samuel Jay Keyser, 'Campus harassment legal but hurtful', Volume 111, Issue 3, February 8, 1991 [3]
  10. ^ Gay Class Causes Culture Clash, on Fox News, August 18, 2003 [4]
  11. ^ Jameson Fitzpatrick, David Halperin Wants to Recruit You, Next Magazine, August 10, 2012
  12. ^ Dr David Halperin, 'An Open Letter: Dear Attorney General', in The Michigan Daily, September 19, 2010 [5]
  13. ^ Boswell, John (1991). Duberman, Martin Bauml, ed. Hidden from History: Reclaiming the Gay and Lesbian Past. London: Penguin Books. p. 25.  
  14. ^ a b Halperin, David M. (1990). One Hundred Years of Homosexuality: And Other Essays on Greek Love. New York: Routledge. pp. iv, 15.  
  15. ^ Ackerman, Susan (2005). When Heroes Love: The Ambiguity of Eros in the Stories of Gilgamesh and David. Cambridge University Press. p. 5.  
  16. ^ "Affaire de plagiat: Didier Eribon rend son Brudner Prize". Le nouvel Observateur (in French). May 26, 2011. Retrieved May 28, 2011. 
  17. ^ a b Alfeef, Emmanuelle (May 27, 2011). "Didier Eribon s'estime plagié et ne veut plus de son Brudner Prize". L'Express (in French). Retrieved May 28, 2011. 
  18. ^ Martet, Christophe (May 26, 2011). "Affaire de plagiat: Didier Eribon rend son Brudner Prize de l’université de Yale". Yagg (in French). Retrieved May 28, 2011. 
  19. ^ "Harvard University Press". Retrieved 2013-11-02. 

External links

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