Sexuality and Human Rights.

This book will study how literary texts have treated the relationship of sexuality and human rights from the Enlightenment to the present day. The first part focuses on the Enlightenment, showing that sexuality was already a concern as human rights discourses first emerged—the primary literary authors will be the Marquis de Sade, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and Mary Shelley. The second part focuses on the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in German-speaking central Europe, arguing that even writers who seem to focus primarily on sexuality are also thinking in terms of human rights—it will focus on sexologists, Sigmund Freud, and Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. The third part focuses on the reconceptualization of these categories in the modern era, in the wake of the Holocaust and in light of frequent comparisons between Jews and homosexuals. Overall, the book will try to prove that sexuality has been at the heart of human rights discourses ever since people began talking about human rights.