In his provocative new book, Public City/Public Sex: Homosexuality, Prostitution, and Urban Culture in Nineteenth-Century Paris
(Temple University Press, 2019), Dr. Andrew Israel Ross
maps out the intersection between histories of sexualities and the urban history of Paris in the 1800s. He examines how the regulation of public sex created new ways of understanding the relationship between individuals and the spaces they inhabited. In this interview, he discusses the policing of prostitution through government-sanctioned brothels, efforts to regulate male same-sex sexual activity at the city’s public urinals, Haussmannization and the creation of new sites for public sex, and the emergence of new sexual identities in the Third Republic.
Beth Mauldin is an Associate Professor of French at Georgia Gwinnett College in Lawrenceville, Georgia. Her research interests include French cultural studies, film, and the social and cultural history of Paris.