Perspectives on the history of ‘prostitution’ in East-Central Europe

Sonja Dolinsek Announcement
Subject Fields
Women's & Gender History / Studies, Sexuality Studies, Social History / Studies, Eastern Europe History / Studies, European History / Studies

Perspectives on the history of ‘prostitution’ in East-Central Europe

Prague, Vila Lanna, February 15th-17th 2017


German Historical Institute Warsaw
Czech Academy of Science

Organizing team:
Steffi Brüning  M.A. (Rostock University)
Sonja Dolinsek M.A. (Erfurt University)
Mgr. Filip Herza (Charles University Prague)
Dr. hab. Magdalena Saryusz-Wolska (German Historical Institute Warsaw)
PhDr. Lucie Storchová, Ph.D. (The Czech Academy of Sciences)

In recent years, the history of prostitution has experienced increased scholarly attention and numerous publications on the subject indicate its complexity and methodological depth. Central, Eastern and South-Eastern-Europe figure prominently in this research, even though studies on the late 19th and early 20th century seem to dominate. Hence, the goal of the workshop is to bring together a broad range of scholars working on the history of prostitution with different approaches and perspectives, on various countries and periods, ranging from the Early Modern period to the late 20th century.

Participation is open and free, but spaces are limited. We ask for a registration with Magdalena Saryusz-Wolska by February 5th at the latest:


Thursday, February 15th  

15.00 Welcome and introduction
15.15 – 17.00
Sonja Dolinsek (Erfurt University, Erfurt)
‘Transnational perspectives on the history of prostitution: On concepts, sources and narratives’

Dietlind Hüchtker (Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe, GWZO, Leipzig)
‘Looking from the Margins: Prostitution and the Historiography on East Central Europe of the 19th/20th Centuries’

Barbara Klich-Kluczewska (Jagiellonian University, Krakow)
‘Biographical experience and sex work in the light of ego-documents, Poland 1930s-1980s’

Coffee Break

17.30 – 19.15
Saidolimkhon Gaziev (Free University Berlin, Berlin)
‘Regulating the Intimate: Prostitution in Russian Turkestan’

Siobhan Hearne (University of Nottingham, Nottingham)
‘Compliance and Resistance: Policing Prostitution in Late Imperial Russia’

Nicoleta Roman (New Europe College. Institute for Advanced Study / "Nicolae Iorga" Institute of History, Bucharest)
‘In between life stories and statistics. A social profile of Romanian prostitutes in the 19th century’
19.30 – Keynote: Maren Röger (Augsburg University, Augsburg)
‘Is There Something a Bit Peculiar to the History of Prostitution in Modern Central European History? Or: Prostitution in Times of War and Peace’

20.30 – Dinner
Friday, February 16th
9.30 – 10.45

Maria Antosik-Piela (Jagiellonian University, Krakow)
‘Prostitution in Poland in Jewish Cultural Texts Before 1939’

David Petruccelli (Diplomatic Academy Vienna)
‘The Samuel Lubelski White Slavery Trial of 1914: Prostitution, Trafficking, and National Difference at the Polish-German Border’

Coffee break
11.15 – 12.30

Tomas Wislicz (Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw)
‘Serfdom, sexual abuse and rural prostitution in pre-partition Poland’

Anna Hájková (University of Warwick, Coventry)
‘Why do we need to write about prostitution in the Holocaust’

12.30 – 14.00: Lunch                                     
14.15 – 15:30

Svetlana Stefanović (independent scholar, Belgrade)
‘Regulation vs. abolition – strategies for suppression of prostitution in Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes/Yugoslavia in the interwar period’

Stefano Petrungaro (University Ca’ Foscari, Venice)
‘Who is a Prostitute? Relevant Nuances from the Yugoslav Case (1918-1941)’

Coffee break

16.00 – 17:45:

Kim Kristin Breitmoser (University of Hamburg, Hamburg)
‘The Diary of Johann Friedrich Carl Paris – Prostitution in the Napoleonic Wars through the Eyes of a Prostitute’s Client’

Judit Takács (Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest)
‘Male prostitution and homosexual panic in early 20th century Hungary’

Kateřina Kolářová (Charles University Prague)
‘Male sex-work and post-socialist “sex-business”: Transnational movements of desire, viruses and theory’

19.00 – Dinner
Saturday, February 17th
9.00 – 10.45:
Christiane Brenner (Collegium Carolinum, Munich)
‘Expert discourse on prostitution in socialist Czechoslovakia’

Anna Dobrowolska (University of Warsaw, Warsaw)
‘Between moral threat and modernisation. The discursive meanings of prostitution in communist Poland’

Steffi Brüning (Rostock University, Rostock)
‘The Socialist State and the “Prostitute”: GDR 1968-1989’


Contact Information

Magdalena Saryusz-Wolska (German Historical Institute Warsaw)

Contact Email