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The information in this website is therefore out of date but retained for archival and staff purposes.

Carolyn Dean: Tolerance, Discipline, and Challenges of Writing the History of Sexuality

Carolyn Dean: Tolerance, Discipline, and Challenges of Writing the History of Sexuality

Many historians of Western sexuality have looked to poststructuralist notions of the instability and fluidity of identity in order to contest "fixed" constructions of sexual identity. There is no stable or fixed "nature": there are ...

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Jonathan Marshall - Keeping the Bacchae at Bay: Hysterical performativity and the Salpêtrière school of Dr Jean-Martin Charcot, 1872-1893

Jonathan Marshall - Keeping the Bacchae at Bay: Hysterical performativity and the Salpêtrière school of Dr Jean-Martin Charcot, 1872-1893

The work of Dr Jean-Martin Charcot and the Salpêtrière school of neuropathology is increasing acknowledged as having operated at the intersection of various medical and aesthetic discourses (anatomy, neurology,...

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Elizabeth Stephens: Anatomies of Desire: Sexual Pathology Exhibits in 19th Century Medical Museums

Elizabeth Stephens: Anatomies of Desire: Sexual Pathology Exhibits in 19th Century Medical Museums

The late-nineteenth century saw a flourishing of anatomical museums in both a professional and popular context. While medical colleges sought to distance their own exhibits from the sensationalist and lurid displays found i...

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Christopher Forth: A Diet of Pleasures? Sexology, Health Reform, and the Sexual Subject in Fin-de-Siècle France

Christopher Forth: A Diet of Pleasures? Sexology, Health Reform, and the Sexual Subject in Fin-de-Siècle France

This essay seeks to reconcile two apparently competing aspects of Michel Foucault's ideas about sexuality and the self with reference to medical self-help writings from France around 1900. Inspired by Foucault's work on the proliferation of exper...

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Alison Moore: Money, Anality and Bourgeois Civilisation: Freud and the excretory imagination of fin-de-siecle Europe

Alison Moore: Money, Anality and Bourgeois Civilisation: Freud and the excretory imagination of fin-de-siecle Europe

This paper begins with a discussion of one of the less commonly noted aspects of the Freudian Oedipal metaphor of societal evolution. For Freud, of all the desires colonised in the masculine work of civilisation, anal and excretory pleasures bear a ...

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J. Edgar Bauer: Intersexual variabilities and phallic restorations: on Otto Weininger's and Sigmund Freud's Reception of Magnus Hirschfeld's 'Zwischenstufenlehre'.

J. Edgar Bauer: Intersexual variabilities and phallic restorations: on Otto Weininger's and Sigmund Freud's Reception of Magnus Hirschfeld's 'Zwischenstufenlehre'.

From early on, the validity of binomial sexuality was contested by alternative modes of sexual distribution. As has been shown by Thomas Laqueur, the one-sex model, proposed by Galen of Pergamum and reassumed by Renaissance anatomists, posited the exis...

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Gabrielle Houbre: Les bâtards d'Hermès et d'Aphrodite : singularités du sexe et curiosité médicale dans la France fin de siècle

Gabrielle Houbre: Les bâtards d'Hermès et d'Aphrodite : singularités du sexe et curiosité médicale dans la France fin de siècle

Récurrente au fil des siècles, l'attention portée par les observateurs sociaux à l'hermaphrodisme prend une dimension nouvelle dans les années 1880-1900, au point de renouveler l'inspiration des romanciers et des dr...

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Gert Hekma: Jacob Israel de Haan: sexology, poetry, politics

Gert Hekma: Jacob Israel de Haan: sexology, poetry, politics

The Dutch teacher, novelist, poet, legal scholar and journalist Jacob Israel de Haan (1881-1924) had a short but highly remarkable carreer. After he started his legal studies at the University of Amsterdam, he met Arnold Aletrino who was the firs...

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 	Máire Cross: Between Sexual Conservatism and Political Subversion. Contrasting Images of would-be Emancipators in fin de siècle France

Máire Cross: Between Sexual Conservatism and Political Subversion. Contrasting Images of would-be Emancipators in fin de siècle France

Although not the first country to grant women voting rights, France has a long tradition of radical feminist discourse and conservative attitudes about the role of women in the family and matters of personal sexuality. Indeed the complexity of French f...

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Ofer Nur: The kibbutz movement and the model of the Männerbund

Ofer Nur: The kibbutz movement and the model of the Männerbund

I would very much like to present a paper in the conference, that would discuss the intellectual origin of the movement's brief adoption of a peculiar discourse and practice of sexuality and eroticism, that of the Maennerbund and the erotic male ...

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Peter Cryle: The Aesthetics of the Spasm

Peter Cryle: The Aesthetics of the Spasm

During the period 1880-1905, many middle-brow novels published in France bore the genericappellation roman de mœurs. Their authors typically sought to represent sexuality while heading off any charge of frivolity or depravity. Their c...

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Michael Wilson: The Freemasonry of Pederasts: Male Same-Sex Sexuality in French Print Culture, 1880-1914

Michael Wilson: The Freemasonry of Pederasts: Male Same-Sex Sexuality in French Print Culture, 1880-1914

My paper is drawn from my current project, which reconstructs and analyzes how popular understandings of male same-sex sexuality were articulated, shaped, and circulated in France between 1880 and 1914. The presentation focuses on popular fiction (roma...

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Heike Bauer: The Measurement of Civilisation: Sexology and African Female Sexual Practice at the Fin de Siècle.

Heike Bauer: The Measurement of Civilisation: Sexology and African Female Sexual Practice at the Fin de Siècle.

The discipline of sexology epitomises key aspects of the fin de siècle cultural climate, a highly charged transitory period between Victorianism and Modernity that is characterised by concerns with the links between subject and social order, and...

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Martha Vicinus: 'Faun Love': The Aesthetic Desire of Michael Field and Bernard Berenson

Martha Vicinus: 'Faun Love': The Aesthetic Desire of Michael Field and Bernard Berenson

In 1890 the lesbian aunt-and-niece couple, Katharine Bradley (1846-1914) and Edith Cooper (1862-1913), better known as the poet Michael Field, met Bernard Berenson (1865-1959). At the time Berenson was an impecunious Jewish-American who offered to tuto...

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Virginia Blain: One Night Stanzas: Olive Custance, Natalie Barney and the Ethics of Pleasure

Virginia Blain: One Night Stanzas: Olive Custance, Natalie Barney and the Ethics of Pleasure"

Like the two women who made up the duality of Michael Field, Olive Custance and Natalie Barney each moved in worlds of social privilege which masked the political inequalities between men and women. There was an aristocratic vein of aestheticism at the...

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Barbara Caine: Bloomsbury anticipations: Jane Strachey, Dorothy Bussy and the story of 'Olivia'

Barbara Caine: Bloomsbury anticipations: Jane Strachey, Dorothy Bussy and the story of 'Olivia'

In 1949, Dorothy Bussy's novella, Olivia, was published anonymously and what interests me here is the question of the tempestuous relationship that developed between Marie Souvestre became an immediate success. Its treatment of the complex emotional an...

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Ron Frey: A Short Genealogy of the Sex Drive

Ron Frey: A Short Genealogy of the Sex Drive

This paper is based on contemporary concerns of its author, who often assesses sex offenders for Queensland courts, and has become increasingly concerned about models of the sex drive which currently underlie the assessment and treatment of sex offende...

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Gary Foster: A Different Kind of Act

Gary Foster: A Different Kind of Act

This paper is interested in how shifts in medico-legal discourse have influenced the very conditions of understanding and telling of an act. Although, during the 19th century sodomy possessed a history of appearance as an act involving both affection a...

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Vernon Rosario: Sex and Heredity at the Fins-de-Siècles

Vernon Rosario: Sex and Heredity at the Fins-de-Siècles

Sexology in the late nineteenth century was dominated by biological approaches to the "sexual perversions." The hereditary degeneration model was usually the foundation for these organic aetiologies. After a lengthy period when psychoanalytic...

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