Michel Foucault’s seminal The History of Sexuality (1976–1984) has since its publication provided a context for the emergence of critical historical studies of sexuality. This collection reassesses the state of the historiography on sexuality—a field in which the German case has been traditionally central. In many diverse ways, the Foucauldian intervention has governed the formation of questions in the field as well as the assumptions about how some of these questions should be answered. It can be argued, however, that some of these revolutionary insights have ossified into dogmas or truisms within the field. Yet, as these contributions meticulously reveal, those very truisms, when revisited with a fresh eye, can lead to new, unexpected insights into the history of sexuality, necessitating a return to and reinterpretation of Foucault’s richly complex work. This volume will be necessary reading for students of historical sexuality as well as for those readers in German history and German studies generally who have an interest in the history of sexuality.
Berghahn Books, Spektrum: Publications of the German Studies Association, 2012