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English Abstracts

Christina Benninhaus: Brennende Sehnsüchte, heimliche Ängste – Kinderlosigkeit, Vererbung und Adoption im naturalistischen Roman um 1900, in: zeitenblicke 7 (2008), Nr. 3.

Around 1900, infertility was a common phenomenon. It was addressed in the medical literature and in bio-political discourses. However, historical sources reflecting personal reactions towards being infertile are extremely rare. Referring to Luc Boltanski’s recent work on the tabooing of abortion, this article takes the silence surrounding infertility as its starting point. This discursive blank, I argue, can be interpreted as reflecting a general ambivalence towards maternity and paternity, childlessness and adoption. By analysing Clara Viebig’s best-selling novel “Einer Mutter Sohn”, published in 1906, the complex meaning of infertility can be demonstrated. While probing the influence of nature versus nurture, the novel recounts the story of an infertile bourgeois couple which adopts the son of a poor widow. Due to Clara Viebig’s strong commitment towards naturalism, the novel and the reactions it received offer intriguing insights into ways in which unintended childlessness was perceived. Apart from medicine, contemporary discourses about the gendered meaning of parenthood, the possible benefits of childlessness and the social and moral problems of foster care and adoption prove to have shaped the contemporary understanding of infertility.


Anita Gertiser: Der Schrecken wohnt im Schönen: Darstellung devianter Sexualität in den Aufklärungsfilmen zur Bekämpfung der Geschlechtskrankheiten der 1920er-Jahre, in: zeitenblicke 7 (2008), Nr. 3.

After the end of the First World War there was a risk of an outbreak of an epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases. The medical profession tried to avert this danger by a systematic education of wider sectors of the population. The doctors’ target was to teach the people objectively and on an accurate scientific basis, thus ridding these diseases of their stigmatisation. Films played a major role in extending this information. These films had a dual purpose: on the one hand to convey medical-scientific knowledge to the audience via the roles played, and at the same time to encourage the audience to observe sound sexual practices. They tried to achieve the latter with fictional sections which had an educational character. However, it was exactly here that the film-makers often reverted to earlier concepts of ethical-moral remedy strategies. Particularly in the exposure to the infection the portrayal and reception followed traditional patterns passed on through the ages. This article therefore concentrates on the media-based side of contagion. How this was shown was closely connected to the presentation of the female figures, who played a key role in the transmission of the disease.


Heiko Stoff: Hormongeschichten. Wie sie in den Jahren 1928 bis 1954 von den Wissenschaftsjournalisten Walter Finkler und Gerhard Venzmer erzählt wurden, in: zeitenblicke 7 (2008), Nr. 3.

Scientific narrations are of high importance for the acceptance and robustness of experimentally elaborated things. At the beginning of the 20th century a market for journals had been founded, which was open for scientific experts of various fields to publish their findings. But journalists, who were not bounded to the rules of the scientific community, were as well publishing in subtle differentiated periodicals and monthly journals. Two of the most prominent science journalists in the German-speaking world were Walter Finkler and Gerhard Venzmer. Finkler was a qualified biologist, who had discredited himself scientifically through a publication over spectacular transplantations of heads of insects. In the 1920s and early 1930s he was the author of numerous articles about the newest innovations in endocrinology which were published in the journals of the sexual reformist nudist movement. In his vivid written hormone stories sexual hormones succeeded as potentialities of physiological optimization. Until his emigration in 1938 the Austrian Finkler proclaimed an egalitarian and consumerist right of individual betterment through hormone therapy. Venzmer again, who published his articles and books in the much-read Kosmos-series, advocated an endocrine typology, which was conceptualized as an inevitable relation of disposition and constitution. His publications of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s on the one hand explicated the complex structure of hormonal regulations as quasi-industrial processes, while on the other hand they constituted classifications and identifications of hierarchical differences. Venzmers hormone stories, which fitted well into the National Socialists logic of selection, were still of predominance in the post war years as a concept of sexual hormones as formative and normalizing chemical messengers.


Ramon Reichert: Erotisch-voyeuristische Visualisierungstechniken im Röntgenfilm, in: zeitenblicke 7 (2008), Nr. 3.

Around 1900, the interaction of x-ray and cinema technology led to the popularization of the clinical view discovering the hidden inner parts of the human body. It were not so much the technical conditions of the illustration procedure, but pictures referencing the classical sex morals, which were used for the didactical evidence production. Voyeuristic cinema technologies popularized the male view and overlaid the clinical radiograph with sexual meanings.


Franz X. Eder: "Auf die 'gesunde Sinnlichkeit' der Nationalsozialisten folgte der Einfluss der Amerikaner": Sexualität und Medien vom Nationalsozialismus bis zur Sexuellen Revolution, in: zeitenblicke 7 (2008), Nr. 3.

Although there was a repressive public opinion in the German speaking countries from the 1940s to the early 1960s, a positive sexualisation and a pro-sexual appeal by discourses and media can be recognized. This change was prepared by the pronatalist orientation of the sexual ideology of the National Socialists. Cultivating and satisfying heterosexual desire of 'Aryans' was supposed to foster political peace, to encourage the stabilization of the family and to aid in the implementation of NS socio-political ideologies in everyday life, including gender differences. During the 1950s eroticism and sex epitomized a better life (if only in the future), an easily available opportunity to experience pleasure and a distant promise of the ”American way of life”, including Western consumerism associated with it. Despite the conservative Christian family norms and sexual morals fitting to the marital coitus, men and women had no big troubles to get access to information on sexual topics and to erotic means to stimulate marriage. This also applies to contraceptives, erotic literature and pictures, which were brought to millions of households by mail order. Because of the progressive sexualisation of consumption, the popularisation of the Kinsey reports by journals and magazines and the eroticization of marriage advice literature, already before the so called ”sexual revolution” sex became a hotly disputed topic. The spreading of the pill and the first sex education films contributed to a positive image of sex. Since the middle of the 1960s the sexual liberalisation and at the same time controlled generation and marketing of sexual desires mutated into a ‘sex wave’. Viewed in this light, the sexual revolution of the late 1960s and the 1970s was (also) a subsequent liberalisation of a sexual order, which was already revolutionized in behaviour and attitudes since years.


Sabine Maasen und Annika Wellmann: Sex im Boulevard. Die Konstruktion (sexual-)wissenschaftlichen Wissens in der schweizerischen Boulevardzeitung Blick 1980-2000, in: zeitenblicke 7 (2008), Nr. 3.

Taking the Swiss popular newspaper ‘Blick’ as an example, the paper inquires into the ways in which knowledge about sexuality has been produced in this medium throughout the 1980ies and 1990ies and into the specificity of knowledge thus produced. During this period, the supply of knowledge not only increased in the particular genre, it also focused on a specific format of advice and the social figure of the journalist-advisor. Connecting therapeutic, sexual scientific as well as psychoanalytic discourses, advice advanced an informative and orienting mode of communication. In this way, it basically supported two imperatives: optimizing sex as well as a trustful sexual partnership. The knowledge thus produced is indeed specific: authorized by scientific knowledge and professional expertise, sexuality based on partnership as norm and normal becomes accepted. At the same time, it prompts the readers to governing themselves, in sexuality as in other domains of life, by way of expert advice.


Julia Helene Diekämper: Die Reproduktion als Wille und Vorstellung. Reproduktionsmedizin in den Printmedien Ende des 20. Jahrhunderts, in: zeitenblicke 7 (2008), Nr. 3.

This article analyzes pieces on reproductive medicine published in the German weeklies ZEIT and SPIEGEL from 1992 to 2005. This was a time when the excitement surrounding the first “test-tube baby“, Louise Brown, had already abated. The article studies strategies of representation of reproductive medicine in the media. It explores the age-old connection between sexuality and reproduction in light of the most recent developments in reproductive medicine. The question posed is not whether sexuality and reproduction occur separately from one another. Rather, the question is how additional power strategies are implemented into the image of growing autonomy. While sexuality is hardly debated on the surface of the discourse thus making reproduction appear to be a technical act which, as an underlying trend, is embraced as an emancipating move from biological and social determinations, sexuality and reproduction remain relational on a subcutaneous level.


Barbara Orland: Virtuelle Schwangerschaften. Medienhistorische Einordnung aktueller Formate pränataler Bildgebung, in: zeitenblicke 7 (2008), Nr. 3.

In the last years, many popular science programmes that are broadcasted on TV showed documentary films about pregnancy and the development of human life before birth. Using cutting-edge technologies like 3D and 4D ultrasound, computer graphics and digital animation technologies, filmproducers promised to provide striking new views of the prenatal development. In my paper, I will discuss the imagery and narrative of such “virtual pregnancies“ against the background of a centuries old media history of prenatal imaging. Pregnancies by nature are anti-visual phenomena that always raised questions of reality, reliability and visual evidence when progress in visualization technologies challenged conventionalized views. Thus, recent film products like their forerunners had to manage the interrelation between new technologies, image traditions and the contingencies of the bodily phenomenon. Investigating the story of what I would call the visual standards of prenatal imaging - figurative schemes of the unborn, the modeling of embryos, moving pictures and the narrative of a journey – I will argue that digital films resolve the tensions between documentary and fiction by image assembly and remodeling of visual habits.


Stefanie Duttweiler: Frequently asked questions: Sexualberatung im Internet, in: zeitenblicke 7 (2008), Nr. 3.

How is sexuality conceptualised and negotiated in the internet? This question will be traced in the following. The contribution roots in the theoretical assumption that the conditions framing communication fundamentally shape the mode of speaking about sexuality. That means, the form of the communication (here: the counselling), the materiality of the communication (here: the medium of the internet) as well as the format of the communication (here: e-mail and web boards) have strong impacts on the discourse on sexuality. These framings of the communication structure the possibility to conceive sexuality as a public subject and at the same time the private way of being able to talk about one's own sexuality and one self. Under these conditions, some things can be said or rather it is expected to say them whereas other aspects tend to be reduced or excluded. The accordant argument can be put as follows: The interplay of the form of counselling, the medium of the internet and the therein possible formats of communication structures the corresponding discourses in a way that make sexual problems appear resolvable. Thus, sexuality - or rather differing sexuality - itself is transformed from a fixed core of one's identity into something that takes a more or less central position within a row of countless possible starting points of self perfection.


Erstellt von: RedaktionZB
Zuletzt verändert: 2008-12-18 11:40 AM