Forming Sex and Gender in Central Europe
While they might appear like natural and unchanging categories, sex and gender are profoundly shaped by social, political and cultural conditions. This course will show the ways in which sexuality and gender were constructed in postwar Central Europe. Invited lecturers – sociologists, historians, and anthropologists – will present their own research on state-socialist family, love, sexual pleasure, childcare, abortion, normative and stigmatized sexualities, and thus students will learn about the developments in Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, East Germany, and Russia.
We want to introduce international students to the topic of gender and sexuality in contemporary European societies while focusing on the region of East Central Europe and highlighting socio-historical developments.
A worker's paradise? Public discourses on sex and erotica in late state socialist Hungary
Dr. Gábor Szegedi
In this session, Dr. Szegedi will give a lecture on the Kádár regime's expert-driven sexual politics, focusing on the connection between the emancipation of masturbation and the liberalization of public nudity.
Constructing expert discourses of hetero- and homosexuality in state socialist Poland
Dr. hab. Agnieszka Kościańska
This session will present the dialogue between sexologists and their patients to show how sexuality (both hetero- and homo-) was constructed vis-à-vis the notion of good sex (as defined by Gayle Rubin).
Mothers, child care and the creation of good socialist citizens'
Dr. Sarah Marks
In this session we will look at visual and written sources from the time, and oral history testimony. We will explore how the debates over child care reflected changing ideas about how the state should support the healthy development of the child's mind both in socialist countries and in the 'West'.
Why Love is Not Free: How Social Structures Affect Our Emotions
Dr. Polina Aronson
This session will be about ways Romantic Regimes affect our lives. It will argue that the Romantic Regime dominating in the modern West can be rendered as the Regime of Choice, driven by the imperative to optimize relationships through relentless self-examination and assessment of one’s psychological needs.
Between health and pleasure. Sexology and the quest for the female orgasm in communist Czechoslovakia
Dr. Kateřina Lišková
In this session, we will introduce the developments in gender and sexuality in Czechoslovakia in the context of neighboring state-socialist countries, discuss the difference that capitalism and socialism offer women, and what consequences different types of regime bring for female pleasure.