Conference: Sexuality and Consumption – 18th Century to 21st Century, 23.-24.11.2018, Vienna

Institut für Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte, University of Vienna; Franz X. Eder, Mario Keller, Johann Kirchknopf, Oliver Kühschelm, Karin Moser and Stefan Ossmann
Time: November 23/24, 2018
Venue: Alte Kapelle, Campus/AAKH, Hof 1, 1090 Vienna
In western societies today, it goes almost without saying that sex and consumption are closely related. Sexual lifeworlds are highly commodified. On the one hand, there is a plethora of commercial goods and services that shape sexual ideas, desires, and practices. On the other, there are scarcely any products or services that do not lend themselves to sexually charged advertising and mass media communication.
The conference “Sexuality and Consumption” will take a close look at how sex and consumption have interacted since the 18th century. It focuses especially on forms of hybridization. “Sex” and “consumption” are equally suggestive notions that warrant an in-depth discussion about which concepts have been at their core, which meanings have been associated with them and the ways in which they have converged.
Fr., 23.11.2018

  • 9.00 Open Doors; 9.15 Welcome Address
  • 9.30-10.30 Keynote: Pascal Eitler: Consuming sex, producing sex – recent interests and open questions in historical research
  • 10.30-11.00 Coffee break

11:00-12:20 Panel 1: Legal and social normalisation of homosexuality

  • Justin Bengry: “Get a Move On, Mr. Butler”: The Business of Homosexual Legal Reform
  • Fred Fejes: “Normalizing” Lesbian/Gay Identity Through Consumption: The American Experience in the 1990s
  • 12.20-13.30 Lunch break

13:30-15:30 Panel 2: Sex-work / Sex-markets

  • Mareen Heying: Sex as consumer good in the context of prostitution. The political stance of German and Italian sex workers in the 1980s and 1990s
  • Elmar Gracher: Big business at hidden places – The development of small-scale sex businesses in Cologne between the 1960s and 1980s
  • Raphael Reichel: „The world’s capital of sex“ – Negotiations, practices and sites of sexuality and consumption in Pattaya, Thailand
  • 15.30-16.00 coffee break

16:00–17:20 Panel 3: Sexualised consumer goods and material culture

  • Jessica Borge: The 1963 Which? Contraceptive Report, British Standard 3704 and anti-commercial action against the condom in 1960s Britain
  • Matleena Frisk: Male deodorant usage and changing masculinity in the 1960s and early 1970s Finland

Sat., 24.11.2018

  • 10.00-11:00 Keynote: Christine Haug: Erotic and pornographic reading materials in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries: distribution and consumption
  • 11.00-11.30 Coffee break

11:30-13:30 Panel 4: The medialisation of sexuality

  • Heike Steinhoff: Licentious Underworlds: The Commodification and Regulation of Sexuality in Antebellum American Popular Culture
  • Katrin Pilz: Consuming sexual health: Viennese sex education films of the 1920s
  • Anat Rosenberg: Advertising Sex in Late Victorian Britain

13.30-14.00 Round up discussion
The event is open to the public. We kindly ask for advance registration at: