The first volume of Foucault’s The History of Sexuality is one of the most influential philosophical works of the twentieth century. As Janet Halley writes, ‘Volume One of Michel Foucault’s History of Sexuality was read and read again by feminists, gay activists, and emerging queer theory makers. No one could be indifferent to this book’ (Halley, 2006, p. 119). Most notably, The History of Sexuality is, without a doubt, the foundational text of queer theory. As Jana Sawicki and Shannon Winnubst write in their editors’ introduction to a special topics issue on queer theory in the journal Foucault Studies, ‘Historian of sexuality David Halperin halfjokingly dubbed Foucault the patron saint of this nascent critical project. If Foucault was its saint, History of Sexuality, Volume I became its bible. To put it inaptly, Foucault was a seminal figure in queer theory’ (Winnubst and Sawicki, 2012, p. 4). Similarly, in Mad for Foucault, Lynne Huffer argues that queer theory has been little more than a (problematic) fusion of Foucault’s History of Sexuality and psychoanalysis (Huffer, 2009). Queer theorist Gayle
Rubin stated in a 1997 interview with Judith Butler, ‘I was really, just totally hot for that book’ (Rubin and Butler, 1994, p. 72).