Review: Claudia Bruns & Tilmann Walter (Eds.) (2004). Von Lust und Schmerz. Eine Historische Anthropologie der Sexualität [Lust and Pain. A Historical Anthropology of Sexuality]

Volker Barth


This compilation contains eleven articles concerned with the description of sexual practices. Here, sexuality is defined as a human experience, as a specific part of the quotidian. The focus is on the 19th century but three articles deal with early modern history. Through examples such as hysteria, homosexuality, racial hygienics, family planning, Jewish sexuality and rejuvenation [Verjüngungskuren], discourses of the self and the other are analysed within their scientific and political contexts. Most of the authors come to the conclusion that due to the lack of personal documentation of individually experienced sexuality, the different ways of dealing with the topic can only be retraced through sources such as reports of court trials, scientific or medical texts, and publications by specific pressure groups. This compilation nicely illustrates this linguistic staging, but beyond that it offers little in terms of new methodological insights for a historical anthropology of sexuality.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs050268


historical anthropology; sexuality; Michel Foucault; discourse analysis

Copyright (c) 2005 Volker Barth

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