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Tutor: Lydia Plath

How can we write a history of prostitution? This seminar offers a historiographical overview of the topic since Judith Walkowitz's revolutiobary interpretion of prostitution as labor. We will explore what are the differences and similarities in prostitution over time, class, and space. We will also look why and how is sex work stigmatized, and where do we find sources to write history of prostitution.

Seminar questions:

- where does history of prostitution fit into history of sexuality?

- how can we write about a stigmatized topic without stigmatizing its protagonists?

- what is the boundary between consent and violence in analyzing historical sex work?

Core Literature:

Judith Walkowitz, Prostitution and Victorian Society: Women, Class, and the State (1980), intro, ch. 8 (Plymouth and Southampton under the Contagious Diseases Act) and ch. 10 (The Making of an Outcast Group). The book is available in our catalogue online -- the Cambridge version is better formatted

Nancy Wingfield, "The Enemy Within: Regulating Prostitution and Controlling Venereal Disease in Cisleithanian Austria during the Great War," Central European History, 46,3 (2013): 568-598.

Katarzyna Person, "Sexual Violence during the Holocaust—The Case of Forced Prostitution in the Warsaw Ghetto," Shofar 33,2 (2015); 103-121.

Further readings:

Kenneth Ballhatchet, Race, sex and class under the Raj: Imperial attitudes and policies and their critics, 1793-1905 (London : Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1980).

Laurie Bernstein, Sonia's Daughters: Prostitutes and their Regulation in Imperial Russia (1995).

Alain Corbin, Women for Hire: Prostitution and Sexuality in France After 1850. Translated by Alan Sheridan. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1990).

Mack Friedman, “Male Sex Work from Ancient Times to the Near Present” in Vincent Minichiello & John Scott, eds., Male Sex Work and Society (New York, and York/UK: Harrington Park Press, 2014).

Anna Hájková, "Sexual Barter in Times of Genocide: Negotiating the Sexual Economy of the Theresienstadt Ghetto," Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, vol. 38, no. 3 (spring 2013): 503-533.

Julia Laite, Common Prostitutes and Ordinary Citizens: Commercial Sex in London, 1885-1960 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).

Philippa Levine, "Venereal Disease, Prostitution, and the Politics of Empire: The Case of British India," Journal of the History of Sexuality, 4,4 (Apr., 1994): 579-602.

Maria Luddy, Prostitution and Irish Society, 1800-1940 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007).

Maren Röger and Emmanuel Debruyne, "From Control to Terror: German Prostitution Policies in Eastern and Western occupied Territories of both World Wars," Gender & History 28,3 (2016): 687-708.

Julia Roos, Weimar through the Lens of Gender: Prostitution Reform, Woman’s Emancipation, and German Democracy, 1919-1933 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2010).

Keely Stauter-Halsted, The Devil's Chain: Prostitution and Social Control in Partitioned Poland (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2015).

Louise White, The Comforts of Home: Prostitution in Colonial Nairobi (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1990)

Nancy Wingfield, The World of Prostitution in Late Imperial Austria (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017).