Legal Sex -Moral Passion
The rise of the modern discourse of sexuality, from the end of the second half of the 19th century until the mid 1930s, particularly in German speaking countries, has been studied from different perspectives over the last decades. Some of the studies followed Michel Foucault, highlighting an epistemic shift, marked by the invention of a new form of discourse of sexuality. Other readings, "after Foucault", aim to transgress such periodic and discursive definitions, and go beyond the "marginalization paradigm": studying not only the ways sexuality deals with othering of gender identities, but also how it functions within and against social boundaries, forms of self and moral norms.
In this workshop we wish to further explore these issues, while emphasizing the processes of "co-production" of the discourse of sexuality: both a social matter as well as scientific subject, a field of study and observation, and a mode of subjectivity of its time. We intend to examine the close relations between the medical and psychiatric discourse of sexuality in that period, the legal discourse and courtroom sensations, media practices and their obscene nature, and it representations in literature and popular culture. It is through such juxtapositions that we hope to challenge the various dichotomies, such as homosexual/heterosexual, masculine/feminine, normative/pervert, natural/ degenerate, innocent and immoral etc.
Keynote lecture: Scott Spector, the Universty of Michigan
We welcome proposals that deal with questions such as:
- The paradoxes of terminology, epistemological uncertainties and the vagueness of sexual discourse.
- Scientific fantasies of normality, transgression, and their representation in the popular culture of the period.
- The legal and scientific interactions on questions of sexuality and crime, before and after the First World War.
- The relations between sexuality and technology, and its impact on social and scientific discourse.
- Sexualized discourse in literature in press, and its relation to other social spheres and discourses.
The format of the workshop is short contributions around key concepts. We welcome proposals for individual papers and panels that address such concepts and deal with them from different disciplinary and theoretical perspective.
The workshop is a cooperation between the Minerva institutes for German history, the History school and the Cohn institute for History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas at the Tel Aviv University.
The organizers: Iris Rachamimov, Karl Dargel and Gal Hertz.