European University Institute (Italien)
E-Mail: anna.dobrowolska [at] eui.eu
More about Dr. Annna Dobrowolska
Sex, Communism, and Videotapes. Polish Sexual Revolutions, 1956-1989
We are used to thinking that the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s was an essentially Western phenomenon. The surge in pornographic production, effective oral contraception, new developments in fashion and popular culture, these all seem to be inextricably linked with a capitalist economy. Yet little has still been written about the transformations of intimate lives on the other side of the Iron Curtain. Was there a sexual revolution behind the Berlin Wall? And, if so, what areas of social life did it impact? Did women – in the words of Kristen Ghodsee – have better sex under socialism?
Sex, Communism, and Videotapes studies the history of sexuality in state-socialist Poland in its European and global context, focusing on how communism transformed both sexual discourses and intimate practices. Engaging with the most recent scholarship on sexuality in East Central Europe, the monograph reassesses the role played by communist states in modernizing their citizens’ approaches to sex. Contrary to the stereotype which perceives Eastern Europe as “lagging behind” the West in sexual matters and having to “catch up” after 1989, the book sheds light on the ambiguous histories of state-socialist entanglements with sex to showcase alternative visions of sexual liberation and to complicate our understanding of “sexual modernity” and “progress”.
During her stay at the ZZF Dr. Anna Dobrowolska researches as Leibniz Summer Fellow in Dep. I: Communism and Society.