Discovering Sexuality: The Status of Literature as Evidence

This essay traces the move away from the use of literary texts as evidence in scientific discussions of sexuality. Whereas in the 1830s an author like Heinrich Hössli would rely almost exclusively on literary texts to discuss same-sex desire, 50 years later an author like Richard von Krafft-Ebing would eschew literary texts as evidence.

“Discovering Sexuality: The Status of Literature as Evidence,” in The Making of the Humanities, Volume III: The Modern Humanities, ed. Rens Bod, Jaap Maat and Thijs Weststeijn (Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam Press, 2014), 583-596