David Halperin

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Halperin 12

W. H. Auden Distinguished University Professor of the History and Theory of Sexuality, Professor of English Language and Literature, Women’s Studies, and Classical Studies

435 S. State St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1003

Office Hours: None this term
Phone: 734-647-5884
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  • Affiliation(s)
    • Professor of English Language & Literature
      Professor of Women's Studies
      Professor of Comparative Literature
  • About

    Areas of research:  History of Sexuality, Lesbian/Gay/Queer Studies
    Languages: French, German, Italian, Russian, Classical Greek, Latin

    David Halperin received the Ph.D. in Classics and Humanities from Stanford University in 1980 and has been teaching at the University of Michigan since 1999.  He is the author of Before Pastoral (1983), One Hundred Years of Homosexuality (1990), Saint Foucault (1995), How To Do the History of Homosexuality (2002), What Do Gay Men Want? (2007; 2009), and How To Be Gay (2012).  Additional publications include co-edited collections, such as Before Sexuality (1990), The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader (1993), and Gay Shame (2009), as well as the journal GLQ:  A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies (co-founded in 1992 and co-edited until 2005), plus articles on Plato, Theocritus, Virgil, Solzhenitsyn, film, sexual politics, and queer theory.  He is the recipient of fellowships from the American Academy in Rome, the National Humanities Center, the Stanford Humanities Center, the Society for the Humanities at Cornell, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Humanities Research Centre at The Australian National University in Canberra, and the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Michigan.  Ongoing projects include a study of queer love. Teaching interests in Comparative Literature include undergraduate courses on “Ancient Greek/Modern Gay Sexuality” and graduate seminars on “Theories of Love:  Plato to Nabokov.”

    Select Publications:

    •  How To Be Gay (Cambridge, MA:  The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2012).
    • What Do Gay Men Want? An Essay on Sex, Risk, and Subjectivity (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2007; revised edition, 2009).
    • Gay Shame, edited with Valerie Traub (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009).
    • How to Do the History of Homosexuality (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002).
    • Saint Foucault: Towards a Gay Hagiography (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995).
    • The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader, edited with Henry Abelove and Michèle Aina Barale (New York: Routledge, 1993).
    • 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).
    • Before Pastoral: Theocritus and the Ancient Tradition of Bucolic Poetry (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983).
    • “The Best Lover,” in Dead Lovers: Erotic Bonds and the Study of Premodern Europe, ed. Basil Dufallo and Peggy McCracken (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2007), 8-21.
    • “Deviant Teaching,” Michigan Feminist Studies, 16 (2002), 1-29; reprinted, with revisions, in A Companion to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Studies, ed. George E. Haggerty and Molly McGarry (Malden, MA:  Blackwell, 2007), 146-67.


  • Education
    • B.A., Oberlin College 1973
      M.A., Stanford University 1977
      Ph.D., Stanford University 1980