The Centre for the History of European Discourses was incorporated in the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities in August 2015.

The information in this website is therefore out of date but retained for archival and staff purposes.

BOOK LAUNCH

Dr Heather Wolffram's

The Stepchildren of Science
Psychical Research and Parapsychology in Germany c. 1870-1929


and

Dr Elizabeth Stephens'

Queer Writing
Homoeroticism in Jean Genet's Fiction

 
Thursday May 20
4:30 PM
Centre for the History of European Discourses
Level 5, Forgan Smith Tower





The Stepchildren of Science
Psychical Research and Parapsychology in Germany c. 1870-1929

Dr Heather Wolffram

 

Leading the reader through the darkened séance rooms and laboratories of Imperial and inter-war Germany, The Stepchildren of Science casts light on the emergence of psychical research and parapsychology in the German context. It looks, in particular, at the role of the psychiatrist Albert von Schrenck-Notzing - a figure who fashioned himself as both propagandist and Grand Seignior of German parapsychology - in shaping these nascent disciplines. In contrast to other recent studies in which occultism is seen as a means of dealing with or creating “the modern”, this book considers the epistemological, cultural and social issues that arose from psychical researchers’ and parapsychologists’ claims to scientific legitimacy. Focusing on the boundary disputes between these researchers and the spiritualists, occultists, psychologists and scientists with whom they competed for authority over the paranormal, The Stepchildren of Science demonstrates that in the German context both proponents and opponents alike understood psychical research and parapsychology as border sciences. 

 
Heather Wolffram is a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for the History of European Discourses at the University of Queensland, Australia. She is the author of several articles on the history of German parapsychology and is currently researching late nineteenth-century debates over hypnosis, sexuality, human observation and crime in Central Europe.

 

Queer Writing
Homoeroticism in Jean Genet's Fiction

Dr Elizabeth Stephens

 

Jean Genet's fiction occupies a central but highly controversial position in twentieth-century homosexual literature, celebrated for the originality and frankness of its erotic imagination but also condemned for perpetuating homophobic assumptions about male same-sex desire. This book provides a critical reassessment of this important body of work. It shows how the theory of writing elaborated in Genet's fiction has a productive contribution to make to contemporary queer and literary studies by providing a new approach to homosexual autobiography. Homoerotic writing, for Genet, depends not on the inscription of a stable sexual subjectivity but the mobilisation of a perverse dynamic within the text itself.

Elizabeth Stephens is an ARC Research Fellow at the Centre for the History of European Discourses, University of Queensland, Australia. Her research interests focus on gender studies, queer theory, philosophies and histories of the body, and French post-structuralism.



To RSVP, or for more information, please contact:

Centre for the History of European Discourses
L5, Forgan Smith Building University of Queensland
St.Lucia Qld  4072 Australia.
email: g.kelly3@uq.edu.au
Tel. (61) (7) 334 69492
Fax  (61) (7) 334 69495

 

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