Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena

Publications of the Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena

The monograph series Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century, published by De Gruyter/ Oldenbourg, holds collected volumes emanating from Kolleg conferences and workshops, as well as monographic studies by staff and affiliated researchers. 

The four-volume series The Routledge History Handbook of Central and Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century summarizes the current state in core research fields from the perspective of internationally renowned scholars. Each volume is devoted to one of the Kolleg’s central research areas: Challenges of Modernity,Statehood, Intellectual Horizons and War, Violence and Oppression

Cultures of History Forum
The Cultures of History Forum is an online platform for actors and researchers in the areas of public history and memory politics to publish critical analyses and reflections about ongoing debates, museum exhibitions or public policy relating to the history of the twentieth century in the countries of the region of Central Southeastern and Eastern Europe.

Staff Publications

Fellow Publications


Kolleg Publications

Agnieszka Kościańska

Gender, Pleasure, and Violence

The Construction of Expert Knowledge of Sexuality in Poland

Indiana University Press
ISBN: 978-0253053091
January 2021
268 pages
Translated by Marta Rozmysłowicz

Behind the Iron Curtain, the politics of sexuality and gender were, in many ways, more progressive than the West.

While Polish citizens undoubtedly suffered under the oppressive totalitarianism of socialism, abortion was legal, clear laws protected victims of rape, and it was relatively easy to legally change one's gender. In Gender, Pleasure, and Violence, Agnieszka Kościańska reveals that sexologists—experts such as physicians, therapists, and educators—not only treated patients but also held sex education classes at school, published regular columns in the press, and authored highly popular sex manuals that sold millions of copies. Yet strict gender roles within the home meant that true equality was never fully within reach. Drawing on interviews, participant observation, and archival work, Kościańska shares how professions like sexologists defined the notions of sexual pleasure and sexual violence under these sweeping cultural changes.

By tracing the study of sexual human behavior as it was developed and professionalized in Poland since the 1960s, Gender, Pleasure, and Violence explores how the collapse of socialism brought both restrictions in gender rights and new opportunities.


Fellow Publications

Agnieszka Kościańska

Gender, Pleasure, and Violence

The Construction of Expert Knowledge of Sexuality in Poland

Indiana University Press
ISBN: 978-0253053091
January 2021
268 pages
Translated by Marta Rozmysłowicz

Behind the Iron Curtain, the politics of sexuality and gender were, in many ways, more progressive than the West.

While Polish citizens undoubtedly suffered under the oppressive totalitarianism of socialism, abortion was legal, clear laws protected victims of rape, and it was relatively easy to legally change one's gender. In Gender, Pleasure, and Violence, Agnieszka Kościańska reveals that sexologists—experts such as physicians, therapists, and educators—not only treated patients but also held sex education classes at school, published regular columns in the press, and authored highly popular sex manuals that sold millions of copies. Yet strict gender roles within the home meant that true equality was never fully within reach. Drawing on interviews, participant observation, and archival work, Kościańska shares how professions like sexologists defined the notions of sexual pleasure and sexual violence under these sweeping cultural changes.

By tracing the study of sexual human behavior as it was developed and professionalized in Poland since the 1960s, Gender, Pleasure, and Violence explores how the collapse of socialism brought both restrictions in gender rights and new opportunities.


Staff Publications

Agnieszka Kościańska

Gender, Pleasure, and Violence

The Construction of Expert Knowledge of Sexuality in Poland

Indiana University Press
ISBN: 978-0253053091
January 2021
268 pages
Translated by Marta Rozmysłowicz

Behind the Iron Curtain, the politics of sexuality and gender were, in many ways, more progressive than the West.

While Polish citizens undoubtedly suffered under the oppressive totalitarianism of socialism, abortion was legal, clear laws protected victims of rape, and it was relatively easy to legally change one's gender. In Gender, Pleasure, and Violence, Agnieszka Kościańska reveals that sexologists—experts such as physicians, therapists, and educators—not only treated patients but also held sex education classes at school, published regular columns in the press, and authored highly popular sex manuals that sold millions of copies. Yet strict gender roles within the home meant that true equality was never fully within reach. Drawing on interviews, participant observation, and archival work, Kościańska shares how professions like sexologists defined the notions of sexual pleasure and sexual violence under these sweeping cultural changes.

By tracing the study of sexual human behavior as it was developed and professionalized in Poland since the 1960s, Gender, Pleasure, and Violence explores how the collapse of socialism brought both restrictions in gender rights and new opportunities.