Writing about love, like being in love, can make us sloppy thinkers. To love passionately, we are told, is to give oneself over, willingly or not, to the irrational. Love is a subject we associate with poetry and pop songs, not with serious scholarship. This class will ask you to resist that stereotype by thinking critically and writing clearly about love, sex, and intimacy. We will range over some of love’s many histories, theories, psychologies, and biologies, in order to better understand how our culture “makes” love today. We will ask why love hurts with Eva Illouz and doubt love with Judith Butler. We will consider the history of sexuality with Michel Foucault and imagine the future of sex with Emily Witt. We will try to understand what love has to do with the politics of race, gender, sexuality, and empire. And we’ll end by bringing fresh eyes to two of the most powerful meditations on modern love in American culture: Beyoncé’s Lemonade and Barry Jenkins’s Moonlight.