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Sexpertise under State Socialism. Constructing Intimacy, Exercising Power


Common sense has it that life under socialism was dreary, devoid of pleasure and without exciting new knowledge. My research so far has proven otherwise. Expert knowledge about sexuality called sexology existed and flourished in many countries of Central and Eastern Europe bringing expertise from medical doctors to ordinary people and their communist governments about the female orgasm (and satisfying heterosexuality) or about homosexuality (and why it should be decriminalized) already in the 1950s, years before such topics were broached in the West. My IPODI project traces the ways in which this “sexpertise” traveled between sexologists, state authorities, and people as well as across East and West. My aim is to understand how intimacy gets constructed under a vastly different socio-political regime and how socialist power shapes (and is shaped by) expert knowledge. Last but not least, I want to capture how “sexpertise” changed over time in connection with the changing political climate.

Duration: 1 July 2016 – 30 June 2018

Mentor: Prof. Dr. Sabine Hark, Faculty I, Zentrum für Interdisziplinäre Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung (ZIFG)

More about Kateřina Lišková

More at http://sexocom.fss.muni.cz

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