This volume tells the story of the case study genre at a time when it became the genre par excellence for discussing human sexuality across the humanities and the life sciences. A History of the Case Study takes the reader on a transcontinental journey from the imperial world of fin-de-siècle Central Europe and the Austro-Hungarian Empire to the interwar metropolises of Weimar Germany, and to the United States of America in the post-war years. Foregrounding the figures of case study pioneers, and always alert to the radical implications of their engagement with the genre, the six chapters scrutinise the case writing practices of Sigmund Freud and his predecessor sexologist Richard von Krafft-Ebing; writers such as Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, Oskar Panizza and Alfred Döblin; Weimar intellectuals such as Erich Wulffen, and New York psychoanalyst Viola Bernard. There result important new insights into the continuing legacy of such writers, and into the agency increasingly claimed by the readerships that emerged with the development of modernity—from readers who self-identified as masochists, to conmen and female criminals. Where previous accounts of the case study have tended to consider the history of the genre from a single disciplinary perspective, this book is structured by the interdisciplinary approach most applicable to the ambivalent context of modernity. It focuses on key moments in the genre’s past, occasions when and where the conventions of the case study were contested as part of a more profound enquiry into the nature of the human subject.
insight about their readers, as seen
in some psychoanalytic and literary case studies discussed herein. They
exploit the genre’s tendency towards undecidability, which introduces
ongoing ambiguity and provides the condition for the ever-shifting nature
of the case study.
In this study, the focus on possibilities for reinterpreting a case study
is key; the ‘slippery’ quality of the genre is highlighted, as a result of
the volume’s vantage point with regard to the example of the historyof sexuality. After Foucault, the case study genre has been identified
, the case study genre undoubtedly continues to offer
writers, both lay and expert, a means for fathoming the riddle that is the
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A HISTORY OF THE CASE STUDY
1 Michel Foucault, The HistoryofSexuality, vol. I: An Introduction, trans. Robert
Hurley (New York: Vintage Books, 1990), p. 154.
2 Teresa Paslawski, ‘Case Study Research in Medicine’, in Albert J. Mills, Gabrielle
Durepos and Elden Wiebe (eds), Encyclopedia of Case Study Research (London:
Sage, 2010), pp. 107–9.
3 Warwick Anderson, ‘The Case of the Archive’, in Joy Damousi
Mass violence, corpses, and the Nazi imagination of the East
USHMMA, RG 14.015.81, Fiche 3922.
USHMMA, RG 14.068, Box 29, Fiche 391.35.
USHMMA, RG 18.002, Reel 8, Fond R 82, Opis 1, Folder 6.4–6; RG
14.068, Box 29, Fiche 391, 101, Fiche 395.258.
USHMMA, RG 14.068, Box 29, Fiche 396; A. Adamovitch, Y. Bryl &
V. Kolesnik, Out of the Fire (Moscow: Progress Publishing, 1980), p.
247; R. Wiegman, ‘The anatomy of lynching’, Journal of the HistoryofSexuality, 3:3 (January 1993), 445–67, at p. 446; USHMMA, RG 18.001,
Reel 8, Fond R 82, Opis 1, Folder 9.63–4, Folder 10.15.
Weindling, Epidemics and Genocide in Eastern Europe, pp. 42
natural law in eighteenth-century debates, Pollak provides context for
her discussion of incest’s potential for transgression in the
literature of this time and demonstrates the advantages of combining
The historyofsexuality is also essential to my analyses
of Gothic texts: Michel Foucault’s and Leo Bersani’s
understandings of power and sexuality inform my discussion of incest
Balance, malleability and anthropology: historical contexts
ancient Greece in his work on the historyofsexuality.
However, elsewhere Foucault does write about the historically specific emergence of ‘separate beings with separate selves’ in his work on penology in Discipline and Punish . Here he argues that ‘for a long time ordinary individuality – the everyday individuality of everybody – remained below the threshold of description’.
In any case, Hunt is absolutely right that notions of selfhood
scholars such as George E. Haggerty in Queer Gothic ( 2006 ), Luce Irigaray in This Sex Which is Not
One ( 1977 ) and Michel Foucault in The
HistoryofSexuality (1976). Examining the intersections of
sexuality and power within the representations of mother–son
incest in the Gothic reveals the complexities of the radical
destabilisations of gender and heteronormativity occurring
. –, especially pp. –.
Linda LeMoncheck, Loose Women, Lecherous Men: A Feminist Philosophy of Sex
(New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, ), p. .
Anita Phillips, A Defence of Masochism (London: Faber & Faber, ), p. .
Michel Foucault, The HistoryofSexuality : An Introduction, trans. Robert
Hurley (London: Penguin, ), p. .
the Future (Nashville: Abingdon, 1971); and D. Gunst,
Biopolitik zwischen Macht und Recht (Mainz: Hase und Kohler, 1978).
8 M. Foucault, ‘The birth of social medicine’, in J. Faubion (ed.), Power:
Essential Works of Michel Foucault (New York: New Press, 2000), vol. 3,
p. 137. The systematic elaboration of the concept was done later, in his
1976 series of lectures in the College de France – M. Foucault, Society
Must Be Defended (New York: Picador, 2003), pp. 239–64, as well in his
HistoryofSexuality (New York: Vintage Books, 1980), vol. 1.
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Foucault, M. (1990). The HistoryofSexuality. Vol. 1: The Will to Knowledge.
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Halberstam, J. (2017). Trans*: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variability.
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