Sexual Violence in History: A Bibliography

compiled by Stefan Blaschke


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First published: March 1, 2024 - Last updated: March 1, 2024


Author: Amy Lynne Hill

Title: Death Does [not] Become Her

Subtitle: The Figure of the Lustmörderin and Abject Female Sexuality in Modern German Culture

Thesis: Ph.D.Thesis, Vanderbilt University


Year: 2023


OCLC Number: - Find a Library: WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 19th Century, 20th Century | European History: German History | Types: Lust Murder; Offenders: Age and Gender / Female Adults; Representations: Literary Texts


Link: Vanderbilt University Institutional Repository (Restricted Access)


Abstract: »My dissertation is a cross-disciplinary study of the Lustmord discourse from the late 19th century to the present that addresses questions of sexual violence, gender, and subjectivity through the framework of abject hegemony assemblage theory. While existing scholarship, such as Maria Tatar’s seminal Lustmord: Sexual Murder in Weimar Germany, highlights literary and artistic representations of the Lustmörder, the locus of my project is instead the Lustmörderin (sex murderess). The term Lustmord was first used to report the unsolved rape and murder of eight women in and around Bochum from 1878 to 1882, yet it was not until feminist crime fiction author Thea Dorn’s award-winning Die Hirnkönigin in 1999 that the figure of the Lustmörderin made her popular debut in German culture. I therefore investigate the lacuna of the Lustmörderin in sexological texts, historical criminal cases, press and government archives, and contemporary feminist crime fiction that centers female sexual violence. I argue that it was the Bochum case, and not later engagements with Lustmord in the Weimar Era, that established the persistent oppressive dichotomy of male murderer and female victim as a product of the socio- historical context of gender and subjectivity in modern German-speaking Europe. By then tracing this discourse as it develops, especially in the volatile years after World War One, I show that institutions of knowledge were invested in denying the existence of female perpetrated Lustmord as a means of upholding traditional regimes of gender. This examination thus reveals the stakes of my project: I argue that the figure of the Lustmörderin ruptures even the limits of abject gender, thus expanding assemblages of intelligible, hegemonic subjectivity to become more inclusive of historically marginalized subjects. In doing so, I contribute to the existing research on Lustmord and modern Germany by opening up new territory for the study of sex, gender, and subjectivity.« (Source: Vanderbilt University Institutional Repository)

Wikipedia: History of Europe: History of Germany / History of Germany | Literature: German literature | Sex and the law: Lust murder