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Prof. Dr. Christine Haug

"On the Production and Distribution of Erotic-Pornographic Reading Material in the Age of Enlightenment": Prof. Dr. Christine Haug, Dr. des. Peter Büttner, Dr. Johannes Frimmel, Jan Stojanovic, B.A. (Book Science)

Academic Year 2015/16

The worldwide turnover of the erotica industry is currently estimated to be around two trillion dollars, although the figures vary and are difficult to confirm. The erotica and pornography industry is among the undisputed market leaders in international trade, with the possibilities provided by the internet adding a new dynamic to the branch.

Christine Haug and her work group are researching the way in which transnational networks, import and export trade, as well as an economic relevance virtually impossible to overestimate, all characterized the erotic-pornographic market as early as the 18th century. Budapest, alongside Brussels and Paris, was one of the most important production locations and distribution hubs for erotic-pornographic reading material in the 19th century. The exposing of these international linkages and distribution strategies of the publishing industry, which already characterized this unique market in the 18th century (and still do today), flanked by a topography of production locations and trade networks for erotic-pornographic reading material in Europe during the period 1650-1850, will form the central focus of this research project.

Working Group

The work group led by Christine Haug includes Dr. des. Peter Büttner, Dr. Johannes Frimmel and Jan Stojanovic, B.A.:

  • Peter Büttner, as part of a postdoc scholarship (to 31 March 2016), will concentrate, among other things, on research into the innovative business and financing models in the trade with erotic-pornographic reading material.
  • An important market for erotic-pornographic reading material in the 18th and 19th centuries emanated from the literary centers (e.g. Vienna, Prague, Budapest) of the Habsburg Monarchy. Johannes Frimmel will examine the Southeast European trading points for erotic-pornographic reading material between 1750 and 1850 and will work in this context particularly with hitherto unexploited sources in Prague and Budapest. His habilitation dissertation on the subject of The Erotic-Pornographic Book Market between the World Wars will also be completed during this time.
  • Jan Stojanovic is preparing his MA dissertation in the field of MA Book Science/Book and Media Research on the subject of Postcard Producers in the 19th century – their emergence and their distribution channels. One particular focus will be placed on the erotic-pornographic picture postcard as a mass phenomenon of popular culture in the age of industrialization.

Visiting Fellows